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Congress heavyweight RPN Singh tenders his resignation ahead of UP polls, likely to join BJP

Interestingly, the Congress leader has dropped 'Congress' from his Twitter bio and changed it to: "My motto India, First, Always."

Congress heavyweight and former minister RPN Singh has tendered his resignation to the party and speculations are rife that he may join the Bhartiya Janata Party any time soon. This development comes as a major setback to the Congress party, which has been struggling to keep its house in order ahead of the high-octane upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

Singh, the party’s Jharkhand in-charge, has taken to Twitter Tuesday to share his resignation letter submitted to party president Sonia Gandhi. While sharing his resignation later, the Congress leader Tweeted: “Today, at a time, we are celebrating the formation of our great Republic, I begin a new chapter in my political journey. Jai Hind.”

In his letter dated January 25, 2022, the Congress leader stated: “I hereby tender my resignation from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress with immediate effect. I thank you for providing me an opportunity to serve the nation, people and the party.”

Interestingly, the Congress leader has dropped ‘Congress’ from his Twitter bio and changed it to: “My motto India, First, Always.”

RPN Singh’s changed twitter bio

India TV had quoted a BJP source as saying that Singh is in touch with senior party leaders in Delhi and talks about him switching the side are in the final stage.

It is being speculated that BJP may field RPN Singh against Swami Prasad Maurya from Padrauna seat in Kushinagar. Maurya, former Cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in UP, recently switched to the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Interestingly, RPN Singh’s name was also on the list of Congress’ 30-star campaigners for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022, which is scheduled to begin on February 10.

Congress releases a list of 30 star campaigners for the first phase of UP Polls

RPN Singh and his long association with the Congress

RPN Singh is a resident of Padrauna of Purvanchal in UP. A descendent of the royal family of Sainthwar of Kushinagar, Singh is popularly known as Raja Saheb of Padrauna.

RPN Singh has been a loyalist of the Congress Party. He is said to have shared a very close relationship with the Gandhi family.

In fact, in 2020, the Jharkhand Congress had issued a show-cause notice to senior party leader Furqan Ansari for criticising senior leader Rahul Gandhi and the party’s state in-charge RPN Singh. Attacking the local leadership in Jharkhand and also the party in-charge RPN Singh, Furqan Ansari said, “If it was up to me, I would have not appointed RPN Singh even a block president”. Then, the Congress party’s leadership had issued the show-cause notice to Ansari in a bid to send a ‘strong message’ to dissenting voices.

He had been president of UP Youth Congress between 1997 and 1999 and secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) between 2003 and 2006.

From 1996 to 2009, RPN Singh served as a Congress MLA in the Kushinagar district’s Padrauna assembly seat. In 2009, he was elected to the Lok Sabha on a Congress ticket from Kushinagar (formerly Padrauna Lok Sabha). Apart from that, RPN Singh served in the UPA 2 government as Minister of State for Road and Transport, Petroleum, and Housing. RPN was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 after defeating the then-BSP government’s strong leader and BSP state president Swami Prasad Maurya in Uttar Pradesh.

Despite campaigning for Congress in both the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he was defeated both times. RPN is now the National General Secretary of the Congress and the State Chairman of Jharkhand. CPN Singh, RPN’s father, served in the Indira Gandhi cabinet as Minister of State for Defense.

According to reports, he has recently felt sidelined inside the Congress party. Three days prior, he met with top BJP leaders in Delhi, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh, however, denied any conversations with the BJP last week.

Singh’s decision to join the BJP ahead of the state’s important assembly elections will be yet another blow for the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the upcoming crucial polls. Jitin Prasada, another state Congress heavyweight, had previously joined the BJP and been sworn in as a minister in Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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