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Top contests of 2014: Ajit Singh vs Satyapal Singh


Baghpat, March 21: Baghpat is one of the 80 parliamentary constituencies of Uttar Pradesh. Western UP's Baghpat is going to witness an exciting "clashes of the titan" as the political stalwart, RLD leader Ajit Singh will face a tough competition with the former Mumbai police commissioner and "a fresher", BJP leader Dr Satyapal Singh.

It consists of five legislative assembly segments including Baghpat, Baraut, Modinagar, Chaprauli and Siwalkhas.

[Read: Top contests of 2014]

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2009 result: Ajit Singh won by getting 2,38,638 votes (38.9%) and defeated BSP's Mukesh Shjarma, Congress party's Sompal and SP's Sahab Singh.

Baghpat will go to polls on April 10, the first phase of UP's six-phased polls.

About Ajit Singh (RLD)

Ajit Singh, has a strong political legacy as he is the son of former prime minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh. He founded Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in 1999.

The 74-year-old Jat leader is the Union Civil aviation minister in the UPA government and holds enough dominance in Baghpat, which is his bastion since long.

He has also nurtured chief ministerial ambitions with his demand for a separate Harit Pradesh in western UP.

He began his political journey as President of Lok Dal, then merged his party with Janata Party and became its president in 1988. Later, he merged his party with the Congress.

Singh quit the party a months later and came back to Lok Sabha in 1997 after defeating a Congress candidate.

He won his first Lok Sabha election in 1989. He entered Parliament as a Rajya Sabha MP in 1996 and won a Congress ticket.

He has won Lok Sabha elections six times and lost only once in 1998.

Singh has been a crucial player in state politics of Uttar Pradesh at different junctures. In July 2001, he tied up with BJP but withdrew support to the BSP government that was supported by BJP and his RLD. The government collapsed.

When Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party came to power in 2002, he supported the government till a few months before the 2007 Assembly polls.

In the present Lok Sabha, his RLD has five MPs. His son Jayant, MP from Mathura, is carrying on his legacy.

Singh, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus and a computer engineer by profession, went to Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago and also worked for 15 years in the US before returning to India in 1986 to enter politics.

About Dr Satyapal Singh (BJP)

The BJP's candidate from Baghpat constituency, 58-year-old Satyapal Singh is the former Mumbai police commissioner and the IPS officer of the 1980 batch.

His retirement was due in 2015 but he became the first serving police commissioner of Mumbai to quit the post in February this year to join politics.

Born on November 29, 1955, in Basauli in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh, Singh had aimed to become a scientist before he joined the IPS. He is a post-graduate in chemistry and has also done his M Phil (Chemistry). He has secured an MBA from Australia and is also has an MA and PhD in Public Administration.

Singh has acknowledged that people in the Baghpat constituency, especially Muslims and Jats, have "very very bitter" feelings following Muzaffarnagar riots.

He also stressed that he would focus on the issue of development.

"I am getting response from them (Muslims). Everybody wants development. I don't know what is inside somebody's mind. If there is power, roads and industry, it will benefit all," he said, adding several teachers from AMU have joined his campaign.

"A criminal is a criminal. Crime is crime. Everybody should get justice," he said.

"The 'Modi effect' will help me break Union Minister Ajit Singh's stronghold over Jats in the area. What Ajit Singh has done? Baghpat has become the most undeveloped part of NCR. Roads are so bad. There is no industry and hardly any employment opportunity. The area has become so insecure and unsafe...," he said.

He has said that Baghpat is one of the "most difficult seats".

"I am a cop. I like challenges. This is also where I was born and raised. It is in such a bad shape. To create order out of chaos is the job of a cop. I will do it. I will win," he has said.

About Soumendra Dhaka (AAP)

Soumendra Dhaka, a peasant leader, has done Masters in Law. He is an agriculturalist and also practices Law. He has been associated with AAP since December 2012.

Dhaka, who is inspired by the idea of Swaraj (self rule) and wishes to make it a reality, believes that "he can be the voice of the people from his constituency (Baghpat).

Besides, he is also known to resolve social issues.

Analysis: Ajit Singh's stronghold in Baghpat, since long time, can again prove to be in his favour.

But, last year's Muzaffarnagar riots in the wesetrn UP may change the loyalties of Jats towards Ajit Singh.

The newbie in politics, former top cop Satyapal Singh's grounded and humble approach may win people's hearts and led them to vote for him. His glorious career in IPS is well-known and people of Baghpat may give him the chance to serve as a clean politican.

OneIndia News

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