Former Army chief General VK Singh is said to be keen to challenge Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, the bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Reports say Singh has conveyed to the BJP top brass about his plan and the party leaders are believed to be excited to see a high-voltage fight in 2014 general election.
It is noteworthy that in 2012 UP Assembly election, most of the Congress candidates tasted humiliating defeat in the Assembly segments which fall under Rae Bareli Lak Sabha seat, represented by Sonia Gandhi, and Amethi Lok Sabha seat, represented by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
The Assembly Constituencies falling under the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat are Bachhrawan (SC), Harchandpur, Rae Bareli, Sareni and Unchahar.
The sources say that earlier Singh wanted to contest Lok Sabha election from Bhiwani in Haryana, General’s home State, but he relinquished the idea on account of the majority of Jat-population in the area. Singh, a Thakur, realised that it will be better for him to contest from a seat where the chances of his winability seems brighter. Rae Bareli and its surrounding areas have a sizable Thakur population.
Both the BJP leadership and General Singh are of the view that the latter hitting the hustings from Rae Bareli against Sonia will provide him with an opportunity for a monumental start of his political career.
In 2009 Lok Sabha poll, Sonia Gandhi had polled over 4.80 lakh votes and she emerged victorious with a margin of 3.72 lakhs votes.
General Singh grabbed news headlines in early 2012 when he dragged the Government in court over his age of retirement. Subsequently, he joined veteran social activist Anna Hazare in his fight against corruption.