Daughters step out to claim fathers’ legacy (IANS Special)

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Lucknow, April 3 (IANS) Two daughters from vastly different backgrounds have returned to the badlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh to reclaim the political legacy of their fathers.

Tanushree Tripathi has returned after completing her Masters’ degree in international relations from London. She is all set to get married later this month but is nevertheless contesting elections from the Maharajganj Lok Sabha seat.

Tanushree, 29, is the daughter of former Uttar Pradesh Minister Amar Mani Tripathi, who is serving a life term along with his wife Madhu Mani Tripathi in Gorakhpur jail for the murder of a poetess in Lucknow in 2003.

Tanushree’s brother Aman Mani Tripathi is an independent MLA from Nautanwa Assembly segment in Maharajganj district. He is also an accused in the murder of his wife Sara Singh and the CBI is investigating the matter.

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In 2017, when Aman Mani contested the Assembly elections from jail, it was Tanushree who campaigned for him along with her sister Alankrita.

Tanushree is contesting on the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) ticket and is banking on the sympathy of the people since, as she says, her parents and brother have been “wrongly framed in criminal cases”.

“I am not a parachute candidate here. I know my village, my people, my constituency. The people know me and my family and we share a strong bond. The farmers have been suffering in this district that lies on the UP-Nepal border. Sugar mills in the region are lying closed. The BJP’s Pankaj Chaudhary has been MP for five terms but has done no development here and people want a change,” she said.

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The other daughter who is making a bid to reclaim her father’s legacy in Maharajganj is Supriya Srinetra, daughter of the late Harshvardhan Singh, a former MP.

Supriya quit her job as Executive Editor of an English news channel and has arrived in Maharajganj to contest the elections on a Congress ticket.

Supriya told reporters that the prevailing conditions in eastern Uttar Pradesh had made her take to politics. “I am glad to have been fielded from Maharajganj where my father worked for four decades.”

Her husband will also campaign for her.

Supriya refused to comment on her rival Tanushree or her tainted background. “I am here to campaign for myself and do not want to comment on anyone,” she said.

This, incidentally, is the first time that women candidates have taken centre stage in Maharajganj which remains steeped in backwardness.

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“It is a welcome change and these elections will hopefully pave the way for more women to step out of their homes and take to politics. Women are supporting the two candidates in a big way. Till now, Maharajganj has been known for mafia candidates,” said Rekha Singh, a first time voter and a young graduate.

–IANS

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