Health infra, farmers and youth will be my focus areas: Ujjwal Raman Singh - Hindustan Times
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Health infra, farmers and youth will be my focus areas: Ujjwal Raman Singh

By, Prayagraj
May 02, 2024 08:36 PM IST

Battle royale in Prayagraj for the 2024 general elections as BJP's Neeraj Tripathi faces off against Congress-SP's Ujjwal Raman Singh to safeguard the city's legacy and address key issues.

In recent years, a narrative has been set by the ruling BJP to put an end to family politics. However, in the upcoming 2024 general elections, Prayagraj is going to witness a battle royale between the two leading candidates, both lawyers, who enjoy a rich political legacy.

Ujjwal Raman Singh, INDIA Bloc candidate from Allahabad seat (HT Photo)
Ujjwal Raman Singh, INDIA Bloc candidate from Allahabad seat (HT Photo)

On one side is BJP candidate Neeraj Tripathi, son of Keshari Nath Tripathi, ex-governor of West Bengal and former Speaker of UP Legislative Assembly, pitted against Ujjwal Raman Singh, son of Kunwar Rewati Raman Singh, Samajwadi Party heavyweight, ex-UP cabinet minister and three-time MP (two-time Lok Sabha and one-time Rajya Sabha). Ujjwal is INDIA bloc candidate who is fighting on a Congress ticket from the Allahabad Parliamentary seat.

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This election is also the best example of the SP-Congress pact synergy wherein the two-time SP MLA has joined Congress with the blessing of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to contest 2024 polls from Prayagraj and could well show the way for the two alliance partners for the 2027 UP polls, if victorious against Neeraj Tripathi.

Ahead of this battle between the two scions, the two-time former MLA and a former UP cabinet minister Ujjwal Raman Singh spoke to K Sandeep Kumar in an exclusive interview, about issues and priorities this poll summer:

With years spent as a second-generation SP leader, how do you see yourself being viewed by the people?

I am a Congress candidate supported by SP and a joint INDIA bloc candidate fighting on behalf of the people of Prayagraj. This is exactly how people are accepting me and showering their love and trust.

After the election, will we see you going back to SP?

This question demands a hypothetical answer. I am right now focused on winning the Allahabad parliamentary seat for the people and performing my duty with dignity for the responsibility that has been entrusted by the INDIA bloc to me.

Do you see the SP-Congress alliance growing stronger after the 2024 LS polls?

Currently, the INDIA bloc that comprises of many parties is fighting to safeguard the constitution and the rights of people of this country that seem to be under threat. The way forward will be decided by the senior leaders of Congress and SP.

How does it feel to be fielded from Allahabad, which your father has represented in 2004 and 2009?

I am happy and thankful to senior leaders of INDIA Bloc who have entrusted me with the responsibility. It’s a challenge to fulfil the aspirations of the people of this prestigious constituency, and I will try my best for the betterment of the rich legacy, cultural heritage and spiritual importance of the city.

What are the issues on which you want to reach out to voters?

The legacy of Prayagraj has been at risk during the BJP tenure and there has been a calculated effort to shift all important government offices to Lucknow. This gives a message that the age-old city of Prayagraj will play second fiddle to other cities. This is also a jolt to the socio-economic framework of the people. Further, although many promises have been made by both Central and state governments to clean the Ganga, which is like a mother for us, but still, after a decade, not much effort is visible on the ground. In fact, its state has deteriorated. After becoming an MP, my task will be to make concrete arrangements to keep the flow of Ganga unhindered and clean because lakhs of pilgrims visit Sangam for its spiritual relevance.

BJP claims to have done a lot on infrastructure and system development. Your take on the claim.

The health infrastructure of the district is in a very pathetic state and because of this people who have adequate resources still prefer to go out of Prayagraj for treatment and the poor people who do not have sufficient resources suffer a lot. I will ensure that the district has an AIIMS so that everyone can benefit. Further, farmers in the trans-Yamuna area are fast losing interest in agriculture due to the apathetic stand of the government, so I will ensure that proper irrigation facilities, uninterrupted electricity supply is provided in the rural areas. Also, Prayagraj is a hub where lakhs of students come from different parts of the state and even outside the state to prepare for recruitment exams to bag government jobs. However, repeated leakages of question papers are heartbreaking. The government has failed to address the issues concerning the youth.

How will INDIA bloc counter Modi ki guarantee?

It is very sad that that development plank on which the BJP is banking upon has completely failed in all quarters. The poor and middle class are trampled by the ever-increasing price hike of essential items like LPG, petrol, vegetables and grains. Forget savings, people are finding it difficult to even make ends meet in the current BJP regime. Employment opportunities have been shrinking for the youth and the existing ones are marred by corruption and paper leakages. Also, the demonetisation and implementation of GST has ruined small-time businessmen. The industrial belt of Naini, which was developed during Congress rule and further during SP rule, is lying in a dilapidated state and although in the last 10 years multiple BJP leaders promised to revive it, no effort has been initiated. The revival of the industrial belt can generate employment opportunities for thousands of people and upgrade the economy of the district.

How many seats do you think the INDIA bloc will win in UP?

We will perform much better than 2014 and 2019 as people are fed up with the BJP government.

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