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UP Assembly election 2017: Battle royale in Amethi as BJP fields Rani Garima Singh against Rani Ameeta Singh
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has played a master-stroke by fielding Rani Garima Singh, who's the estranged wife of Congress leader Sanjay Singh, from the prestigious Assembly seat of Amethi.

She would be pitted against Amethi royal and Congress MP Sanjay Singh's present wife Rani Ameeta Singh. BJP has contrived this to probably encash on the sympathy for her.

"However, under the seat sharing arrangement between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress, Amethi has gone to Akhilesh Yadav's party. The SP has given the ticket to sitting MLA and controversial leader Gayatri Prajapati, leaving Ameeta Singh in the lurch.

But Ameeta seems in no mood to relent and has made her intentions clear to her party, the Congress, saying that she has worked hard in the constituency and will not quit the fray.

She said, "Amethi is my family and my home and I cannot leave it...I will contest from here. I have talked to senior Congress leaders and told them about the ground reality here and have requested them to do the needful as the seat also falls in the parliamentary constituency of party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi."

While accusing the BJP of playing petty politics by giving Garima Singh a ticket from Amethi, she said, "BJP has resorted to petty politics leaving seniors out and giving ticket to someone who has no recognition in the region...people here have neither seen her nor has she seen them for years."

"I do not have any worry…all this is BJP's politics after it played the dirty game of snatching the IIIT and Paper Mill from Amethi," she added further.

60-year old Garima Singh will be making her political debut in the 2017 UP Assembly polls. She had made news by returning to the Amethi royal family's Bhupati Bhawan palace in July, 2014 along with her son Anant Vikram and daughters Mahima and Shaivya.

Garima is locked in a bitter battle with former husband Sanjay Singh and his present wife Ameeta over family fortunes. Although Congress chose to remain aloof from this family feud, BJP decided to fish in troubled waters by reaching out to the estranged royal family in 2016, after which Anant Vikram and his sister Mahima joined the party.

The BJP has even bigger ambitions for Garima in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where the party hopes to eat into Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi's votes. The strong walls of the Congress bastion Amethi are already showing signs of cracking, with Union Minister Smriti Irani working hard in the constituency.

Although losing out to the Congress Vice-President in the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Amethi, Irani had severely dented Rahul Gandhi's victory margin. Interestingly, despite losing, she has not severed her ties with Amethi and is still a regular visitor.

Niece of former PM VP Singh, Garima, who hails from the royal family of Daiya, enjoys a lot of support from locals despite her prolonged absence.

However, as per locals, Prajapati, who's from the backward class is a more preferential candidate as caste equations in the area are paramount. He has also worked hard in the area to carve a niche for himself. Amethi goes to polls in the Phase-V on February 27.

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