Akhilesh Singh, Raebareli strongman and five-time MLA, passes away

Former Congress MLA Akhilesh Singh, who represented Raebareli constituency for five terms, passed away on Tuesday morning following a prolonged illness at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow. He was 60. The lawmaker had been battling cancer since the past few years. He is survived by wife and two daughters, including Aditi Singh. She represents Congress from Raebareli Sadar assembly seat. Singhs last rites will be performed at his ancestral home in the Lalupur village of Raebareli later in the evening. Singh had won as Congress candidate from the Raebareli Sadar constituency three times consecutively. He was expelled from the Congress Party in 2003. Singh, who was known for his criminal antecedents with several FIRs lodged against him and had the image of proverbial Robin Hood, remained a popular leader in Raebareli. He was known for making bold statements. Singh was often hailed by his supporters with slogans of Akhilesh Singh ki baat par, mohar lagegi haath par during election campaigning. His popularity never went down even after he mended ties with the Congress. Singh, a local strongman, won the Raebareli Sadar seat as an independent candidate in 2007 and as a Peace Party candidate in 2016 assembly elections. He also got his daughter Aditi to join the Congress party. She won from her fathers seat in the 2017 assembly elections with a margin of about 95,000 votes. A few days before his health deteriorated, Singh had thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for their decision to scrap the Article 370, that accorded special status to Jammu Kashmir. There are few things which are above party line and Congress people should understand that. Today the entire India has got freedom in real sense, Lawmaker Aditi Singh too came out in support for the move. Earlier in 2015, Singh was taken ill seriously and had undergone treatment at a Singapore hospital.