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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

In a boost to Congress in West UP, estranged Imran Masood’s family reunites

Five-time Congress MP from Saharanpur, Rasheed has also been a member of the Rajya Sabha. He was also the United National Progressive Alliance candidate for the Vice-President in 2007.

lucknow Updated: Feb 28, 2019 10:20 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Rasheed Masood
Rasheed Masood(HT)

In what could revive political fortunes of the Congress in Western UP, party’s vice president Imran Masood on Wednesday made peace with his estranged uncle Rasheed Masood and his cousin Shadan Masood (son of Rasheed).

“I have informed Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi about the reunion of the family,” said Imran, who is likely to contest from Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Five-time Congress MP from Saharanpur, Rasheed has also been a member of the Rajya Sabha. He was also the United National Progressive Alliance candidate for the Vice-President in 2007.

In 2012, rift over assembly elections tickets led to Imran parting ways with Rasheed.

While Imran contested election as Congress candidate, his cousin Shadan got the ticket from the Samajwadi Party.

With votes splitting within the family, Imran lost the election by a margin of 4,564 votes. Dr Dharam Singh Saini of BSP won the election.

Back in 2017 assembly elections too, Shadan, who was with SP, had opposed Imran’s candidature.

Then too, BJP candidate Dharam Singh Saini had won by a slender margin of 4,057 votes.

Imran was last elected MLA from Muzaffarabad constituency (now Behat) in 2007.

Prior to it, he was elected Saharanpur Nagar Palika chairman in 2006.

On both the occasion, the family was united.

Speaking to Hindustan Times over phone, Shadan admitted that the tiff in family had adversely affected the political fortunes of the family.

“For last seven years, our objective was only to do everything possible to ensure the defeat of Imran and vice versa. But after several rounds of discussions in the family, it has been finally decided to end the rivalry to prevent the division of votes. We will extend unconditional support to Imran in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election,” said Shadan.

“It is a family decision. Our priority now is to win the election,” said Rasheed Masood, who had joined the BSP last year.

Criticising the BSP, he said, “It is the party where only money matters. Since we have always done out politics with utmost honesty, I was unfit in the party.”

Imran, who has been addressing public meetings with Shadan in different assembly constituencies in past few days, said, “If we are together no one can beat us.”

The clout that Masood family — especially Imran — enjoys in the region can be gauged from the fact that 2 out of 7 seats in Saharanpur were won by the Congress in 2017 assembly elections.

While Congress candidate Naresh Saini had defeated BJP’s Mahaveer Singh Rana by a margin of 25,586 votes in Behat, another Congress candidate Masood Akhtar had defeated BSP candidate Jagpal Singh by a margin of 12,324 votes.

Imran, however, had lost by a margin of 4,057 votes because of the opposition from Rasheed Masood and his son Shadan.

Rasheed also got the dubious distinction of the becoming the first elected MP to be disqualified after he was convicted in a case related with fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates to MBBS seats allotted to Tripura in medical colleges across the country from the central pool.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 10:20 IST

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