Rebel Cong leader backs party nominee in Dariyapur

Farooq Sheikh

Farooq Sheikh, an Independent candidate from Dariyapur Assembly constituency in the city, on Tuesday declared his support for Congress's official nominee Gayasuddin Sheikh.

Both Farooq and Gayasuddin were Congress MLAs in the outgoing Assembly. While Farooq represented Kalupur, Gayasuddin represented Shahpur.

However, both Shahpur and Kalupur Assembly seats disappeared after the delimitation exercise about a-year-and-a-half ago and were merged into neighbouring constituencies.

Though much of the Kalupur seat was transferred to Dariyapur, it was not possible for Farooq to win the seat with Muslim support only. Since Congress felt Gayasuddin could infleunce 10 to 15 per cent of the Hindu voters in his favour, he was given the party ticket.

Feeling let down, Farooq filed his nomination as an Independent. Though he did not withdraw his candidature, he ultimately announced his support for Gayasuddin on Tuesday.

Farooq had represented Kalupur in the state Assembly in 1998, 2002, and 2007. Prior to that, he had been elected as municipal corporator as well.

Though Farooq's declaration is said to have strengthened Gayasuddin's position, he is facing a stiff challenge from BJP's Bharat Barot.

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