Union Minister VK Singh who is contesting as a BJP candidate from Ghaziabad is among some of the recognised faces in fray for the first phase polling scheduled to be held on April 11. The former Army chief had contested from Ghaziabad on BJP ticket in 2014 and won by a record margin. Singh got 7.58 lakh votes, which was a whopping 56 per cent of votes polled. This time, the 67-year old Army veteran is facing challenge from Congress’ Dolly Singh (33), and Samajwadi Party’s Suresh Bansal (70) who is also backed by BSP, RLD and AAP. Aiming to win his second term, VK Singh will look to win by a bigger margin but is expected to get a tough fight from other parties.
In recent times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath have visited Ghaziabad on a number of occasions. The saffron party is banking on extension of metro lines, Hindon airport, NH 24 widening among other issues to woo voters. VK Singh, who is MOS, External Affairs, had reiterated of bringing in projects for the constituency worth Rs 32,000 crore, that included Regional Rail Transport System (RRTS) that would help to connect Delhi and Meerut through Ghaziabad.
Being a minister, his efforts in rescue operations to bring in nearly 4,000 Indians in 2015 from war-torn Yemen was highly appreciated. India also rescued nearly 250 foreign nationals under his watch. As per reports, ad filmmaker Jay Verma is planning to make a film on operation Raahat.
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A retired four-star general,VK Singh has earlier served as Army chief from 2010 to 2012, becoming the first commando to reach that position. After graduating from Defence Services Staff College, he was commissioned in 2nd Battalion of Rajput Regiment in 1970. Among eligible voters, who go to vote on Thursday in Ghaziabad, 15.17 lakh electorates are males, 12.08 lakh females, while 109 are the third gender.