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UP Congress relies on turncoats for success in LS polls


Lucknow, April 18 (IANS) The Congress in Uttar Pradesh is trying to regain lost ground by relying on turncoats who claim to have influence over their caste in the area.Imran Masood, the Congress candidate from Saharanpur, has set a record of sorts in party hopping.Masood, a former UPCC vice-president, switched over to Samajwadi Party just before the 2022 assembly elections. He again jumped ship and joined the BSP in October of the same year.Earlier this year, he returned to the Congress and is in the fray from Saharanpur, the crucial west UP seat having a sizable population of Muslims.Masood, infamous for his controversial remarks against PM Narendra Modi, is up against BJP’s Raghav Lakhan Pal and Majid Ali of BSP.Except for the 2007 assembly elections when he won from Muzaffarabad assembly seat as an independent, Masood has been consistently losing assembly and Lok Sabha elections from Saharanpur.Sadal Prasad, a former minister in the Bahujan Samaj Party government from 2007-2012, joined the Congress last month and is the party candidate from Bansgaon (reserved) Lok Sabha seat located in Gorakhpur district.Though the Congress has been allotted three out of the five seats in the Gorakhpur division, it is facing a dearth of strong candidates who can win the seats or give a tough fight to the BJP that has already announced to field sitting MPs on the four seats — Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Bansgaon and Gorakhpur.The Congress was pushed to third or fourth position on the five seats.In Allahabad — once the home seat of the Congress — the party has fielded Ujjwal Raman Singh as its candidate.Ujjwal Raman Singh, the son of former Samajwadi minister Reoti Raman Singh, quit the Samajwadi Party to join the Congress, two days before his ticket was announced.In nominating Ujjwal Raman Singh, the Congress conveniently ignored the claim of its senior leader and former MLA Anugrah Narain Singh.–IANSamita/uk

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