Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the BJP MLA from UP’s Bangarmau who is facing gang-rape charges, is a turncoat. The four-time lawmaker has regularly changed parties and assembly constituencies. He is seen as Brahmin-dominant Unnao district’s most prominent Thakur leader.
Sengar, 51, started his political career in 2002 when he was elected as an MLA from Unnao Sadar on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. He joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) before the 2007 assembly elections. He contested from Bangarmau as SP candidate and won. In 2012 elections, he contested as SP candidate from Bhagwant Nagar constituency and won again.
In the middle of the 2017 assembly election, Sengar joined the BJP and was named as the party’s nominee from Bangarmau. His seat was changed as the party fielded Uttar Pradesh assembly speaker Hridya Narain Dixit as BJP candidate from Bhagwant Nagar.
When Sengar was with the SP, his wife, Sangeeta, was elected Zila Panchayat chairperson and continues to hold the post. Sengar’s brother Manoj was earlier the head of a block. A BJP leader said Sengar is considered close to independent MLA (Kunda) Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya. “Sengar also gets votes of Muslims. He is the most influential Thakur leader in the entire district. With the combination of Muslims and Thakurs and some other upper castes, he wins the polls. While Brahmins are divided here, Sengar keeps the Thakurs united in his favour by helping them,” said a BJP leader in Unnao.
In Unnao, Brahmins account for 20 to 22 per cent voters in each assembly segment. Muslims are the second largest group followed by the Thakurs. The MLA is known to help local people financially. Another BJP leader said he offers Rs 10,000 as minimum cash gifts to brides in his constituency.
Sengar, an agriculturist who also runs a jeweller business, was unavailable for comments. But on Sunday he had issued a statement rubbishing the rape allegation as politically motivated to malign his image.
(With inputs from Lucknow)