Ninth BSP MP gets the axe

BSP on Saturday dropped its sitting Sambhal MP, Shafiqur Rahman Barq from the list of party candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, - making him the ninth MP from the party to get the axe.

Barq was replaced by another Muslim candidate Aqeelur Rehman who was an MLA from Bahjoi seat of Sambhal between 2007-12.

The decision to field Rehman from Sambhal was taken by BSP's western UP coordinator Munquad Ali after a meeting in Moradabad.

Last year, Barq had walked out of the Lok Sabha when Vande Mataram was being played at the close of the budget session.

BSP sources said local party workers were not happy with Barq's approach. His relations with Munquad Ali was also not cordial.

Sources said he is likely to join SP. Barq was with SP since 1992 and served as the party's MP for three terms. He left the party in 2009 after expressing his dissatisfaction over SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav allying with Kalyan Singh.

\Barq, however, remain non-committal about his decision to join SP. When contacted, he said he is yet to decide on joining SP. "SP people are good. I will decide and tell you in a few days."

Meanwhile, SP has already announced Javed Khan as its candidate from Sambhal. However, the entry of Barq may strengthen the party's hold in western UP, where its pro-minority image has taken a hit post the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The 'other' Eight

The eight other BSP MPs who were dropped before Barq include, Dhananjay Singh(Jaunpur), Vijay Bahadur Singh(Hamirpur), Tabassum Hassan (Kairana), Raj Kumari Chauhan (Aligarh), Gorakh Prasad Jaiswal(Deoria), Ramashankar Rajbhar (Salempur), Arvind Chaudhary (Basti) and Gorakhnath Pandey (Bhadohi).

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