Congress drives a wedge between uncle, nephew

 Smarting under the desertion by its disqualified Rajya Sabha MP Rashid Masood, an influential Muslim leader in western Uttar Pradesh, who recently joined the Samajwadi Party, the Congress managed to pull off a coup of sort. It persuaded Masood’s nephew Imran Masood to contest on its ticket from Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency in the forthcoming general elections.

Imran will be challenging Rashid Masood’s son Shadan Masood, who had been nominated by the SP from the seat.

Interestingly, Rashid Masood had joined the SP on the condition that his son be given the nomination from Saharanpur.

Earlier, the SP had nominated Imran from the seat.

Ticket denied

Rashid Masood had opposed Imran’s candidature seeking a ticket for his son Shadan and had said he would have Shadan contest the Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate if he was denied a ticket by Samajwadi Party.

Rashid was Congress’ only prominent Muslim face in the western region and his defection was considered to be a big setback to the Congress’

electoral prospects on Saharanpur seat in particular and in the nearby districts in general.
First MP to lose his seat

Rashid Masood had become the first MP to have lost his seat following the Supreme Court order striking down the provision that protected convicted lawmakers from disqualification during the pendency of their appeal in the higher court.

Masood, who had crossed over to the Congress on the eve of the 2012 Assembly polls in the state, is said to wield considerable influence over the Muslim community in Saharanpur and some other adjoining districts.

Congress leaders had been hoping to weave a ‘Jat-Muslim’ combination by aligning with the RLD and with the help of Masood.

Now, after pitting two members of the family against each other, the Congress has managed to drive a wedge in the family and made the contest interesting.

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