Newsmaker: Aditi Singh rubbishes rumours of marriage with Rahul Gandhi

Topics Rahul Gandhi

Even by today’s standards of malicious politics, what happened to Congress MLA Aditi Singh, who represents the Sadar assembly constituency in Rae Bareli, is degrading.

While electioneering is on in Karnataka, stories circulated on social media about her “marriage” to Congress President Rahul Gandhi. A disconcerted Aditi, a management graduate from Duke University in the US, had to step in to scotch the rumours, saying that canards were being spread for political reasons. 

Her terse official statement read: “Such rumours upset me. I would like to clarify that Rahulji is my rakhi brother and I am really saddened by such rumours on social media.”

A series of photographs featuring the Gandhi scion with the 29-year-old MLA and their close family members had started circulating on social media platforms on May 5, with the caption reading “Rahul had finally found his soul mate and that his mother and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was finalising the marriage proposal”.

Before it blew up in a major way, this rumour was being passed on in hushed tones.

In another tweet, Aditi said the pictures were taken during Sonia Gandhi’s recent visit to Rae Bareli. 

She further said her family had cordial relationships with the Gandhis.

In fact, right after she was elected, Aditi had been subjected to trolling and fake news, “although never on this scale”.

Without naming any party or person for this, she hinted that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders or supporters were behind the “fake news.”

“It is sad to see how easily women and girls can be easily targeted -- even the elected representatives with fake and defamatory rumours,” she said.

She said, on the one hand, “you” talk about “Beti bacho, beti padao” and, on the other hand, “you target a woman”.

“I am also a daughter and an unmarried girl…trying to tar someone’s reputation with canards is very sad to see.”

Aditi said she had believed social media users should be very careful about what they read. “People should be very careful and wary about news circulating on social media.”

Rejecting Aditi's allegations, BJP state spokesman Shalabh Mani Tripathi said, "Our party has nothing to do with this episode. Probably it was tweeted by her aides and later shared by them. The BJP does not believe in such gimmicks."

Aditi’s father, Akhilesh Singh, is a five-time MLA from the Sadar constituency, representing different parties. In the run-up to the 2017 Uttar Pradesh polls, he had decided to pass on his political legacy to his daughter.

She assisted her father and worked as a social worker in her constituency before she took the electoral plunge last year and won by 90,000 votes. 

Amritanshu Mishra, who hails from a business family in Rae Bareli, said Aditi had established her credentials after being elected. “She is soft-spoken and accessible to people and the party cadre. More people support her today than those who had voted for her.”

Her rise in the Congress has been seen to be partly responsible for Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Dinesh Singh switching to the BJP last month.

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