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Senior Cong leader Imran Masood may join SP ahead of state poll: Report

Senior Cong leader Imran Masood may join SP ahead of state poll: Report

Lucknow: Speculations surfaced about the possible defection of senior Congress party leader Imran Masood to Samajwadi Party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Rumours about Masood, one of the ace leaders of the Congress in western Uttar Pradesh, about to change camps have been floating for weeks, according to NDTV.

Masood told NDTV that he had arranged a virtual meeting with his supporters on Monday, and what's next will be decided after discussions with them. He said that the major contest in the state would be between Samajwadi Party and BJP.

Masood had won in 2007 assembly elections as an independent. He contested again in 2012 on Congress's ticket but lost and later joined Samajwadi Party in 2013.

However, he came back to Congress in 2014 and competed in the Lok Sabha elections that year and in 2019 from Saharanpur but lost both times. But he has generous support from the Muslim community in his area, who are 42 per cent of the population.

Masood was arrested in 2014 and was imprisoned for alleged hate speech during an election campaign. He was accused of threatening "to chop Narendra Modi to pieces". He had told NDTV later that he never threatened Modi but meant that he would teach Modi a lesson.

Imran Masood is nephew to senior Congress leader and five-time MP from Saharanpur, Rashid Masood. Rashid died in 2020, was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha four times by Congress.

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