In UP’s Rampur, Moradabad, Samajwadi Party Clears Confusion Over Official Candidates

Confusion prevailed for several hours Wednesday after two candidates each in Rampur and Moradabad parliamentary constituencies claimed to be the Samajwadi Party’s official nominees.

The party later in the day cleared the confusion declaring that Muhibullah Nadvi from Rampur and Ruchi Veera from Moradabad Lok Sabha seat are its authorised candidates.

Two candidates each from Rampur and Moradabad seats filed nomination as the SP candidates. This led to a situation of confusion throughout the day over the authorised candidates of the SP on both the seats.

In Rampur, Asim Raja, who had previously contested the Lok Sabha byelection, filed his nomination calling himself an SP candidate. At the same time, Mr Nadvi also filed his nomination making the same claim.

On the other side, confusion arose in Moradabad after party leader Ms Veera filed nomination on Wednesday as the SP candidate. Earlier on Tuesday, sitting SP MP from Moradabad S T Hasan had also filed the nomination as the party candidate.

However, the party leadership clarified the situation in the evening.

Party’s national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI that the sitting MP from Moradabad, Mr Hasan’s ticket has been cancelled. In his place, former Bijnor MLA Veera has been made the party candidate.

Apart from this, Mr Nadvi is the party’s authorised candidate from Rampur.

Mr Nadvi is the imam of Parliament Street Jama Masjid in Delhi.

He admitted that earlier there were some doubts regarding the candidates on both the seats but later they were rectified.

Mr Nadvi told reporters after filing nomination, “SP president Akhilesh Yadav ji has sent me. Azam Khan is also my sympathiser and I pray for him. I have filed my nomination from the Samajwadi Party and I have also got the cycle symbol.” Mr Raja, a close confidante of Azam Khan, told reporters, “We have filed our nomination as a Samajwadi Party candidate. Who will contest the elections will be decided on March 30 (the date of withdrawal of nominations).”

 On the question that along with him, Mr Nadvi has also filed nomination as the SP candidate from Rampur, Mr Raja said, “I am saying that 20 people should file the nomination… What will happen with that? Everything will be finalised on the 30th March.” Regarding the Moradabad seat, Ms Veera told reporters that the party leadership has given her the ticket and hence, she has come to file the nomination.

Asked whether she has got the party’s election symbol, Ms Veera said, “We will get the symbol.” On Mr Hasan, Ms Veera said, “Ask this to the party leadership. He is not my rival but my elder brother.” Ms Veera is also considered close to senior SP leader Azam Khan.

Today was the last day of filing of nomination for the elections of Rampur and Moradabad Lok Sabha seats. The nomination papers will be scrutinised on Thursday while the last date for withdrawal of nominations is March 30.

Voting on these seats will be held in the first phase on April 19.

While Moradabad seat was won by the SP last time, the saffron party had bagged the Rampur seat in the byelection after Azam Khan was disqualified following a court order convicting him for more than two years in a kidnapping case.

Akhilesh Yadav had met Azam Khan in the Sitapur jail late last week.

The SP’s Rampur district president had, on the previous day, said in a statement that they wanted Akhilesh Yadav to contest from the constituency.

Rampur was a bastion of 75-year-old Azam Khan for the past over four decades. He had been elected MLA from here 10 times and had represented the seat in Parliament once.

The Yogi Adityanath government in UP has been pursuing the cases against Azam Khan.

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