Lucknow: They were ordinary homemakers till they jumped into the UP elections fray to carry forward the political legacy of their husbands.
Politicians, who have passed away or those who cannot contest due to other reasons, have been replaced by their better halves, who are vying with each other for a seat in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
In Bhadohi, when former education minister in BSP regime Rakesh Dhar Tripathi could not contest as he is facing a disproportionate assets case, his wife Pramila Dhar Tripathi has taken the plunge in electoral politics from the seat.
She is contesting on a Apna Dal ticket and seeking to enter the portals of the Legislative Assembly counting on the development works done by her husband for the constituency.
Similarly, in Meja seat in Allahabad, Uday Bhan Karwariya, having a number of cases against him, has passed on the baton to his wife Neelam Karwaria. She has been given BJP ticket from the seat and is contesting the polls with full vigour.
The case of BJP women wing state president Swati Singh is no different.
She shot into prominence after her husband Daya Shankar Singh, then BJP state vice president, had allegedly made certain derogatory remarks against BSP supremo Mayawati and was later sacked from the party.
Singh brought his wife to the forefront. Swati actively took part in TV debates where she not only defended her husband, but attacked Mayawati and even challenged the BSP chief to cross swords with her.
She is contesting from Lucknow’s Sarojini Nagar seat and Daya Shankar is managing the campaign from behind the scenes.
Former MLA Dilip Verma had launched his wife Madhuri Verma in politics when he was in jail in Bahraich. She won on a Congress ticket and this time is contesting on a BJP ticket from Nanpara seat (Bahraich).
In Bahraich, Ruaba Sayeed, wife of sitting MLA Waqar Ahmad Shah’s is contesting on a SP ticket. Waqar was minister in the Akhilesh government but due to health reasons, his son Yasir Shah, also an MLA, was included in the ministry in his place.
This time on Waqar’s seat, Ruaba is in the fray.
BJP MP Kaushal Kishore has also managed a ticket for his wife Jai Devi from Malhihabad seat of Lucknow.
Similarly, in Bah seat of Agra, Rani Pakshalika Singh is contesting on a BJP ticket in place of her husband Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh, who was minister in the Akhilesh cabinet but opted out of contest this time.
In Ghazipur’s Mohmadabad seat, Alka Rai is contesting on a BJP ticket. She is the wife of BJP leader Krishna Nand Rai, who was killed in 2005 allegedly by the Mukhtar Ansari gang.
Despite party manifesto and promises, Alka’s trump card in elections is the name of her husband, who was considered a political heavy weight of the area.
In Amebdkar Nagar’s Tanda seat, Sanju Devi is contesting on a BJP ticket.
She is wife of Hindu Yuva Vahini leader Rambabu Gupta, who was killed in 2013 leading to communal clashes in the area.
Sanju is seeking votes in the name of her husband and is trying hard to carry forward the political legacy of her husband by representing the seat in the state Assembly.
After RLD state president Munna Singh Chauhan’s death, his wife Shobha Singh joined BJP and this time she is contesting from his traditional Bikapur seat on BJP ticket to carry forward his legacy.
In Allahabad West also, a wife is in the fray with her husband’s name in the backdrop.
Pooja Pal, a sitting BSP MLA is again in the fray as her husband Raju Pal was killed due to political rivalry.
Atiq Ahmad’s name figured in the case and Pooja during her campaigning recalls her husband’s struggle in a bid to strike an emotional chord with voters.
In Etawah, Sarita Bhadauria is in fray on a BJP ticket.
She is the wife of late Abhayveer Singh, who had also dabbled in politics.