About 50 members of Mau City Congress Committee have resigned from their posts in protest against party’s decision to field ‘dummy’ candidate against mafia don Mukhtar Ansari, who is fighting from Mau Sadar constituency.
Samajwadi Party has not fielded any candidate against Mukhtar Ansari, contesting as his own outfit ‘Hindu Muslim Ekta Party’ candidate.
To ensure his victory, Congress fielded a ‘dummy’ candidate, who according to Mau city president of Congress Committee Owais Tarafdar, was not even a primary member of the party.
Mau, which has 35 per cent Muslim population, has sent 12 Muslim MLAs from Mau and if Tarafdar is to be believed, Congress fielded Muslim candidates in 13 elections out of total 14 assembly elections.
Ignoring the recommendation of the City Congress Committee, Congress fielded ‘dummy’ candidate Gopal Nishad. The City Congress Committee had recommended the name of Suhal Nomani, state secretary of the Congress, to contest from Mau Sadar.
"Yes, we had recommended Nomani’s name as Congress candidate from Mau Sadar but at the last moment I sent another optional name Abu Bakar Ansari, a weaver leader," Owais Tarafdar told Hindustan Times, adding, he was shocked to know that a lesser known Gopal Nishad, who was not even a primary member of the party, had been given ticket from Mau Sadar.
He confirmed that about 36 executive committee members of the city Congress besides some special invitees tendered their resignation from their posts a few days ago. Owais Tarafdar said that a joint resignation letter had been faxed to Congress state president Salman Khurshid and AICC president Sonia Gandhi.
"Members explained in their joint resignation letter that sentiments of the minority community had been hurt," Congress city president said, adding, "a deliberate attempt is being made by some party leaders to give walk-over to mafia don Mukhtar Ansari by not fielding a Muslim candidate.
"We know Mukhtar Ansari wields influence on some Congress leaders like Salman Khurshid," Congress state secretary Suhal Nomani, said. He alleged that Salman Khurshid was Mukhtar’s legal counsel in the Supreme Court.
"I have no idea of resignations by the Congress executive committee members of Mau," Salman Khurshid told reporters at a press conference in Mau on Saturday night, adding, "In fact I have been receiving suggestions from Mau for the last three months that these executive members needed to be expelled."
However when pressed for detailed reply, Khurshid did not give satisfactory reply.