RAE BARELI: Most people after acquiring a degree in engineering dream of working with a multinational company. But that is not the case with Santosh Kumar Singh of Rae Bareli. One meeting with the Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in 2012 is all it took to change the life course and leave his well settled job to join politics and work for the people.
Singh, who completed his M.Tech in 2011, aspired to become an IAS officer. He even camped in Delhi for preparations and took engineering classes in a college to support his dream. But, that was before he met Gandhi.
In 2017, Singh came back to Rae Bareli and joined politics. This year, he won the jila parishad election on Congress ticket.
In an interaction with The New Indian, Singh shared his impressions on the future of the Congress in Rae Bareli. “Rae Bareli is considered as a strong fort of Congress. Since Independence, several Congress stalwarts have represented this parliamentary constituency — from Feroze Gandhi to Indira Gandhi and now Sonia Gandhi.”
The coming Uttar Pradesh assembly election results next year, according to him, may just bring surprise to the country, as the party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi has made several changes at the organisational level and restructured the local cadre.
“She has infused the experience of the old with the enthusiasm of the young. Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu is working really hard in the state. He has been aggressively making note of the issues concerning the locals and taking it to the streets,” he said.
His belief that the party will make a good comeback in the state, where it has been out of power for 32 years since 1989, stems from the fact that the Congress has been working especially hard since the Covid pandemic outbreak and has been vocal in highlighting public concerns and lack of government support.
The results will be there for all to see. We will emerge as a big party,
On Congress Rae Bareli Sadar MLA Aditi Singh switching her allegiance to the BJP and Harchandpur assembly constituency Congress MLA Rakesh Singh taking the rebel route, he said, “Rae Bareli is a Congress stronghold. Leaders may come and go. People relate to the party. The traditional vote will hold strong as compared to individual popularity.”
Gandhi’s attempt to involve more women has been garnering support. The Congress leader has promised to field 40 per cent women candidates in the upcoming elections. Singh feels that this intent would definitely turn the votership in the party’s favour. “Women form 50 per cent of our population, but when it comes to giving them due space, that is not given by most of the political parties. It was Congress that brought 33 per cent reservation for women in elections. Congress has always been vocal for women rights. The promise by Priyanka Gandhi is just the beginning,” he said.
Now you can see that most political parties are following what she had announced for the state. They have started raising women issues,
Going back to his first meeting with Gandhi in 2012 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus and the rest of his journey, he shared: “When your ideology matches with someone, you are naturally inspired.” Theoretically speaking, Congress and Gandhi’s ideology is considered to be Centre-Leftist, which talks about welfare of the poor and marginalised.
The political background of his family and its influence on him did the rest. “My mother was a Pradhan for over 25 years. So it all fell in place. All I wanted to do was work for the people. And that is how I joined politics,” he shared. As they say, change begins from within and inspiration is all around. Singh is a perfect example of that.