Facing expulsion from Samajwadi Party after voting against UPA government during the recent trust vote, MP Ateeq Ahmed has decided to join Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samajwadi Party.
Ateeq, an accused in the BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case, conveyed his willingness to state minister and Mayawatis close confidant Nasimuddin Siddiqui on Saturday when the latter met him in the Naini Central jail in Allahabad.
After the meeting, Siddiqui, who was accompanied by a number of party leaders, told mediapersons that Ateeq had "extended unconditional support to the BSP and expressed his desire to work for the party".
"The MP has also given us a letter addressed to party supremo and Chief Minister Mayawati who will take a final decision in this regard," the minister said.
Siddiqui also said that Ateeq has refuted his alleged involvement in the Raju Pal murder case and hoped that "the truth will come out before the court of law."
The former SP strongman has been trying to get friendly with the BSP ever since the change of guard in the state. BSP's victory had led to filing of a number of fresh cases against him and confiscation of his property worth crores.
Having been elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 on SP ticket, Ateeqs relations with party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav started souring after his defiance of the partys boycott call during the Presidential elections last year.
Ateeq has been at loggerheads with the BSP ever since the party's MLA from Allahabad West, Raju Pal, was gunned down in the city in broad daylight on January 25, 2005.