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In first phase of LS polls, these candidates in UP seek to preserve political legacy

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Shillong, April 17: The first phase of polls in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, will see a group of candidates making a bid to preserve the political legacy of their families.

The families of these candidates have been active in politics for decades but in recent years, their political fortunes have dipped to an extent. In these elections, the young generation of these families is making a concerted bid to restore the glory of their families.

Leading the brigade is Jitin Prasada, a UP Minister who is contesting the prestigious Pilibhit seat.

Jitin Prasada is the son of former Congress stalwart Jitendra Prasada and has been given the task of retaining a seat that is known to be the bastion of Gandhis — Maneka and Varun Gandhi. Varun has been denied a ticket and Jitin Prasada is now riding high on the Modi wave.

In 2009, Prasada fought and won the election from Dhaurhara, as his home bastion Shahjahanpur had come into the reserved category. However, he lost the 2014 and 2019 polls from the same constituency. Prasada joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2021 and was made a member of Vidhan Parishad and included in the Yogi cabinet.

Another candidate is Iqra Hasan who is contesting the Kairana seat on a Samajwadi ticket. Her grandfather Akhtar Hasan, father Munawwar Hasan, and mother Tabbassum Hasan have won the seat multiple times.

Her brother Nahid Hasan is a second-term SP MLA from the Kairana Assembly seat but spent the last few years in jail till he recently got bail.

Iqra Hasan entered the electoral fray in 2022 when she campaigned for her jailed brother Nahid Hasan, and ensured his victory in the seat. This time she is in the election arena and is pitted against BJP candidate Pradeep Choudhary.

Pradeep Choudhary, the sitting BJP MP from Kairana Lok Sabha seat, is also being supported by Rashtriya Lok Dal which is now a part of the NDA.

Pradeep Chaudhary belongs to a political family. He won the Assembly elections twice from the Gangoh seat of Saharanpur and once from the Nakur seat. In 2019, he was elected MP from Kairana Lok Sabha seat.

The challenge that Iqra Hasan faces, therefore, is not small but she is confident in herself.

In Saharanpur, Imran Masood is the Congress candidate from the SP-Congress alliance. He belongs to a political family. His uncle late Qazi Rashid Masood was a member of the Lok Sabha five times and Rajya Sabha four times. He was also the United National Progressive Alliance’s candidate for the post of Vice President in the 2007 elections.

Masood family is a resident of Gangoh and the Gangoh Municipal Council has mostly been under the control of this family. Imran Masood’s brother Noman was the chairman from 2012 to 2017. The Qazi family has dominated Gangoh Municipality since before Independence.

In 2023, BSP had fielded Khadija Masood, wife of Imran Masood’s cousin Shazan Masood, as its candidate for the mayor seat of Saharanpur Municipal Corporation.

Imran Masood faces the challenge of saving his uncle’s legacy in Saharanpur. He has faced more downs than ups in recent years and this election, therefore, is extremely crucial for his political career too.

The BJP candidate from Saharanpur is Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma who also faces the challenge of reviving his political legacy. His father Nirbhay Pal Sharma was a three-term MLA who was murdered in his house in 2000.

Raghav Sharma won the Assembly seat in 2007 and then the Lok Sabha seat in 2014. He is pitted against Imran Masood of Congress. (IANS)

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