73 criminal cases against SPís nominee from Sultanpur

Samajwadi Party Friday declared mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed as its candidate from Sultanpur parliamentary constituency.

Atiq, who belongs to Kareli area in Allahabad, is a history-sheeter and has had 73 criminal cases registered against him in Allahabad, Kaushambi, Lucknow and Bihar. He is an accused in the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal who was shot in Allahabad in 2005.

Atiq's name had also figured as the main accused in the infamous state guesthouse incident. SP supporters had allegedly attacked BSP president Mayawati and her party MLAs who were inside the state guesthouse in Lucknow after the BSP's decision to withdraw support from the SP government in 1995.

Atiq is a five-term MLA between 1989-2004. He was also elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004 from Allahabad's Phulpur as SP candidate.

Atiq had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Pratapgarh as Apna Dal candidate and was placed fourth. He had also contested the 2012 assembly elections from Allahabad West as Apna Dal candidate, but had lost to slain BSP MLA Raju Pal's wife Pooja of Bahujan Samaj Party with a margin of 8,885 votes.

His brother Khalid Azeem alias Ashraf, too, had won from Allahabad West in 2005 after the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal. Ashraf was the key accused in Pal's murder while Atiq was a co-accused.

Earlier, SP had fielded Shakeel Ahmed from Sultanpur constituency. There are reports that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi is likely to contest from here.

At present, the seat is held by Congress MP Sanjay Singh. BSP is likely to field former MLA Pawan Pandey, who is the brother of BSP MP from Ambedkarnagar, Rakesh Pandey.

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