It’s bad news for weathercocks this election season, as political parties in the fray in Uttar Pradesh are getting wary of entertaining politicians who have not stuck with them through thick and thin. Masood Akhtar, brother of Imran Masood who recently quit the INC and joined the Samajwadi Party, found no favour in Akhilesh Yadav’s party. The Masood brothers’ hope to get a ticket from a ‘better-performing party’ were dashed as Imran’s name did not figure in the SP-RLD list of candidates.
The Masood family is not the only case of the kind, as several weathercocks in Uttar Pradesh failed to change their fate by switching parties.
“We have been told that they will take care of us. Akhilesh ji had called us twice and assured us of a party ticket. We were waiting at the SP office on 16 January when we learnt that Behat and Saharanpur Dehat’s candidates had been announced,” said Akhtar, who had released a video on 17 January in which he said that he would continue fighting for people even “if we are not MLAs”.
Pointing out that “these things happen in politics”, Akhtar said he would contest the elections “if people wish and the polls will be fought under the leadership of Imran Masood”.
Likewise, a Muslim leader and former legislator and former MP from the BSP, Qadir Rana, who expected a ticket from Muzaffarnagar after joining the SP last year was left high and dry. Rana was camping in Lucknow for over a week till 17 January and returned home after the SP chief Akhilesh Yadav declared all the candidates from Muzaffarnagar, giving a fair share of seats to the RLD but no ticket to Rana.
“I don’t want to comment on the matter,” Rana said. He will not be in the poll fray for the first time in three decades. His attempt to get a ticket for a relative also failed.
Among other weathercocks, BJP’s Guddu Pandit aka Bhagwan Sharma failed to get a ticket after joining the RLD. He was a two-time MLA from the Dibai constituency of Bulandshahr. His brother, Mukesh Sharma, also an MLA, did not find a slot in the list the RLD-SP list for Bulandshahr seats.
Some SP leaders like former MLA Abdul Rao Waris from Shamli was not given a ticket by SP this time as the seat he used to contest from was given the RLD.
Further showcasing weathercocks hitting a bad patch, Meerut’s senior BSP leader and former MLA Haji Yaqub Qureshi who joined hands with Akhilesh to “change the government” failed to change his own fortune.