Battle for UP: Ex-SP leader to contest against Rajbhar as independent

Former Samajwadi Party MLA Syeda Shadab Fatima has queered the pitch for SP-SBSP alliance by deciding to contest as an independent from the Zahoorabad assembly that is held by Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar.

Rajbhar has alleged that BJP has propped up Fatima to ensure his defeat from the seat.

Shadab Fatima said, “I was denied ticket from Zahoorabad in 2017 despite winning it in 2012. My claim was overlooked this time again. Now the people of the area and my supporters are saying that Rajbhar has done nothing in five years after winning this seat. On the demand of people, I am contesting as an Independent from this seat.”

Rajbhar, a former BJP ally who later joined hands with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav just before elections, however, claimed that Fatima is just a puppet, playing in the hands of BJP, which is making all efforts to ensure his defeat.

“She will lose her deposit if she decides to contest against me. Let another card of BJP open and they will field some Rajbhar candidate also against me from Zahoorabad seat,” he said.

Fatima, who became MLA for the first time from Ghazipur Sadar seat in 2007, had ended BSP’s dominance and opened SP’s account from the seat in 2012.

Instead of fielding Fatima, SP replaced her by Mahendra from Zahoorabad in 2017 when Rajbhar contested as BJP’s alliance partner and won securing over 86,000 votes.

Fatima went with Shivpal Yadav when he formed Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party.

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