Aditi Singh, the Congress MLA from Sonia Gandhi's home turf Rae Bareli, grabbed the attention of one and all when she attended an Assembly session in Uttar Pradesh which was boycotted by her party.
Aditi is the daughter of Akhilesh Singh, a five time MLA in Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh decided to hand over the mantle to his daughter after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Aditi, had her education in Delhi and Mussorie before she went to the Duke University in the United States for a degree in management.
Aditi's strong base is the one cultivated by her father, Akhilesh, who had moved away from the Congress following his suspension after a murder charge. He contested and won his fourth election as an independent and the fifth as a Peace Party candidate.
Despite his angst towards the Congress, Akhilesh remained against the right wing politicians and the reason for this was his proximity to Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadvi, popularly known as Ali Miyan.
Ali Miyan belonged to Rae Bareli and was a highly respected Islamic scholar and wielded considerable influence over his community.
It was Akhilesh's proximity to Ali Miyan that made him invincible in his constituency.
The top leadership of the Congress also remained 'soft' towards Akhilesh and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra flew to Rae Bareli to meet the family after Akhilesh passed away on August 20 this year.
Beyond party lines
For Aditi, a large number of legislators in the UP Assembly were 'uncles' since they were 'friends' of her father who had spent almost quarter of a decade in the state assembly.
She also mingled with legislators closer to her age, often cutting across party lines.
In a state where most first timers shy away from raising issues and making speeches in the state legislature, Aditi made sure that she was given time and opportunity to make her presence felt.
She struck the first discordant note two months ago when she publicly praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over abrogation of Article 370. On Wednesday and Thursday she attended the 36-hour special session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly commemorating Mahatma Gandhi's 150 birth anniversary, in defiance of the Congress diktat of boycott.
Congress men were flummoxed but all waited for a reaction from the party high command.
The Congress high command, which is already smarting after the Amethi defeat, will apparently weigh all pros and cons before initiating any action against Aditi.
Ready to face the music
Asked if she had deviated from the party line by attending the Assembly session, she said, "I rose above party line and tried to speak on development. This is my first and foremost priority."
"If you heard my speech, I only spoke about development and sustainable development goals. I practice politics the way my father used to do it - whatever I feel is correct, I do it," she said.
Asked if the party will initiate action against her, Singh said, "It is the party's call and whatever decision they will take, I am ready to accept it. I did whatever I felt was appropriate."
Even though Aditi's growing closeness to the BJP may disturb her vote base in Rae Bareli, she has made it abundantly clear that she will chart her own course in politics - with or without the Congress.
(With inputs from IANS)