UP panchayat polls: Unnao rape convict's wife among BJP candidates
Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar's wife, Sangeeta Sengar, will be contesting the upcoming panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP on Thursday released its list of panchayat poll candidates for five districts in the state. Controversially, Kuldeep was convicted in the infamous 2017 Unnao rape case and eventually booted from the saffron party. Here are more details.
Sangeeta to contest from Fatehpur Chaurasi Tritaya seat
Sangeeta, who is the outgoing Zila Panchayat Chairperson of Unnao, will contest from the Fatehpur Chaurasi Tritaya seat. On Thursday, nominees were declared from Unnao, Mau, Balrampur, Basti, and Kushinagar. The BJP has released the names of 51 candidates from different Zila Panchayat wards in Unnao. Reportedly, Sangeeta was made a candidate owing to the influence her family wields in Unnao.
Senior state party leaders approved Sangeeta's candidature: Report
Sources in the BJP told The Times of India, that Sangeeta's candidature had been approved by senior state party leaders, including state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh and state General Secretary (Organization) Sunil Bansal at a meeting held recently.
4-phase panchayat election to be held from April 15
Sangeeta had become the Zila Panchayat Chairperson from Unnao in 2016 when elections were not contested on any party's symbol. This year, parties are officially declaring candidates to ensure grassroots-level support. The 2021 panchayat election will be held in four phases starting April 15. The results will be declared on May 2. Senior party leaders will reportedly campaign for Sangeeta and other candidates.
Kuldeep Sengar was arrested in April 2018
In April 2018, Kuldeep—then a BJP MLA—was arrested for allegedly raping a girl in 2017, when she was a minor. The case made headlines after the victim attempted self-immolation outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Lucknow residence as the authorities failed to file charges against Kuldeep. Kuldeep was expelled by the party in August 2019. The same year, he was convicted in the rape case.
Victim's father, 2 other relatives were killed
Apart from the rape, for which he has been sentenced to life imprisonment, in 2020, Kuldeep was sentenced to ten years in jail and fined Rs. 10 lakh in connection with the death of the rape victim's father. The father had died in police custody in April 2018. Two of the victim's relatives were also killed in a hit-and-run case in July 2019.