The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Wednesday declared Jalaluddin Siddiqui as its candidate to contest the polls from Sahibabad constituency. The move came after the party recently expelled its sitting MLA and candidate for upcoming assembly polls from Sahibabad, Amarpal Sharma, on January 16 on charges of ‘anti-party activities.’
Siddiqui, popularly known as Jallu bhaiya, is considered a close aide of the party’s national general secretary Nasimuddin Siddiqui. Jalaluddin had contested three previous mayor elections in 1995, 2000 and 2006 in Ghaziabad but lost. He is from Vijay Nagar in Ghaziabad and has a scrap dealing business.
“I am sure I will get support from all sections of society as I also have a house in Arthala and Sahibabad. In all the triangular elections, BSP has done well and emerged the winner in Ghaziabad. Sharma’s probable candidature from any party will not be a hindrance for my contesting elections from Sahibabad. People will not support those who lose the respect of their fellows,” Siddiqui said.
Ghaziabad district president Premchand Bharti confirmed Siddiqui’s candidature and said that his documents are being assessed and the nomination will be filed on January 22. Siddiqui also came to the Ghaziabad election office to obtain a nomination form on Wednesday.
With Siddiqui’s candidature from Sahibabad, the next announcement of candidature for the seat is expected from Bharatiya Janata Party. Pankaj Singh, son of Union minister Rajnath Singh, is touted as a possible candidate. However, the BJP is yet to name a candidate in Noida as well, besides Sahibabad, in the districts of Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
On Wednesday, few disgruntled BJP workers had also gone to Delhi to meet party president Amit Shah and requested him to name a party loyalist as the candidate from Noida. The protesters said that Pankaj Singh is an acceptable candidate. However, there is also opposition among another section of the party about his candidature.
“There is opposition in nearby districts to a few candidates. We need a local candidate who has worked at the ground level. There is confusion about Pankaj Singh, as his name doing the rounds for the Noida constituency as well. We want a different candidate. In all other matters, we will abide by what the party leadership decides,” Pappu Pehalwan, a BJP supporter said.
Besides the BJP candidate, the earlier lists released by Samajwadi Party (SP) named Virender Yadav and Rashid Malik as candidates, but Malik had opted to contest from Loni instead. However, with a probable alliance among SP, Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal, there may be a change in the candidate. Following his expulsion, Amarpal also joined Congress and could be a strong contender for the seat.