iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, October 02, 2013
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi may have scored some political points by calling the ‘ordinance’ on convicted politicians a complete non-sense, his party MP Rashid Masood may become the first leader to lose his Rajya Sabha seat following his conviction and four-year sentence. As Masood was the Congress’ only prominent Muslim face in west Uttar Pradesh, his conviction is bound to have a direct impact on the party’s cadres in the region.

Masood had joined the Congress after quitting the Samajwadi Party before the 2012 assembly elections.

Although the Congress could not perform well in the 2012 polls despite his induction, Masood always remained in the good books of Rahul Gandhi and was always consulted on important political issues, divesting of charge of a party zone recently notwithstanding.

“Yes, we do not have any other leader of Masood’s stature in west UP. We will find it difficult to get such a prominent face for the party in west UP,” said a senior Congress leader adding, “Masood’s conviction has come at this point when the west UP is in grip of communal tension. The party will have to rework its strategy for the region.”

Congress Legislature Party leader Pradeep Mathur said his party would respect the verdict of the court on Masood’s conviction.

The Congress leadership would take an appropriate decision about the Rajya Sabha MP, he said.