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Reaching out to the poor

April 22, 2009
Shailendra Singh and his colleagues are described as Aam Aadmi Ka Sipahi.

Being a former police officer helps. Singh, in fact, was no ordinary officer: He took on the high and mighty before joining politics. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh was not happy after he arrested and slapped the Prevention of Terrorist Act on Mukhtar Ansari, the dreaded underworld figure. He was transferred. Mayawati and Kalyan Singh were unhappy with him too, for different reasons. Singh finally quit the police force in 2004.

He will contest the Chanduali seat on a Congress ticket.

"I have realised that if you need to help the poor, you need to join politics. I feel the Congress is the right party to lead the nation," says Singh.

Rahul has brought an excitement to the old and new generation of Congress cadres in the state. The fervour is palpable across the Congress offices -- many office-bearers say only Rahul can bring about a change in the party's fortunes.

The Congress, which reigned supreme in UP till the late 1980s, has lost out to regional parties like the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

Congressmen hope their party will be a dominant force by 2014.

Image: Shailendra Singh. Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani.

Also see: Will Amethi still vote for Rahul? | India Votes
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