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SLASH
27 Aug 06,, 15:23
UP party may back gangster
Abu Salem's political ambitions might finally see light of day. BSP is said to be in talks with his Azamgarh relatives

By: By Vinod Kumar Menon

If Salem is interested in joining our political party, we will surely give him a chance. We are trying to get the best candidates to fight the coming election. BSP national president Omprakash Rajbar
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Abu Salem may contest the 2007 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh on a Bhartiya Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. And this role is for real. Out of the many roles the dreaded gangster enacted to evade the police, this new one as politician will grant him police protection. Salem will fight from Mubarakpur, which is 50 kms from his hometown Sarai Meer in Azamgarh. MiD DAYwas the first to report his political ambitions in March 2006.
Now BSP (not Uma Bharati's) is said to be seriously considering Salem. The party's symbol is a walking stick.
Dr S Taki, a close relative of Salem, based in Azamgarh, UP said that BSP party worker Raghu Raj Singh had approached them with the proposal a few weeks ago.
"I do not know much about politics, but since ours is a democratic country. I feel Salem has every right to contest the election, if a political party is willing to back him," said Taki.
When asked to reveal more on the party's plan for Salem's campaign, Taki refused to answer, saying matters were at a premature stage and things were being sorted out at a party high command level. He also said they were had been talking to Salem's lawyer in Mumbai, Ashok Sarogi.
Yesterday, the Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy announced that the elections to the assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Punjab and Manipur would be held before March 17, 2007.
Sarogi confirmed his client was a key contestant for BSP. Salem is likely to contest the election from the Mubarakpur Vidhan Sabha constituency in Azamgarh district, a minority dominated area. Eighty per cent of the population is the Ansari community and most of them make Banarasi saris. As Salem is an Ansari himself, there are high chances that they will vote for him en masse.
Abu Zaffar, a Samajwadi party worker from Azamgarh did not seem to know about the BSP plan, but said it was possible because the locals were of Salem's caste and Salem is quite popular amongst them.
Omprakash Rajbar, national president of BSP, formed the new party during the 2002 elections. Out of the 10 Assembly constituency seats in Azamgarh district, the Bahujan Samajwadi Party won five, Samajwadi party won four and Congress one. The BSP did not win any seats but gained votes from the Rajbar community, gaining popularity in the area, explained Zaffar.
BSP is keen to introduce Salem against Bahujan Samajwadi Party leader Ram Yadav alias Kareli, who won the last election from Mubarakpur constituency.
Meanwhile the Special Task Force (STF) Lucknow is closely monitoring post election situation in Uttar Pradesh. Senior Superintendent of Police (STF), Lucknow Rajesh Pande says, "This is an unheard of political party in Uttar Pradesh, but our inquires have revealed that BSP has indeed been formed in Azamgarh and is slowly gaining in popularity".
BSP party national president Omprakash Rajbar told Sunday MiD DAY that he didn't rule out the possibility that his party workers had been talking to Salem's relatives in Azamgarh.
He added, "If Salem is interested in joining our political party, we will surely give him a chance. We are trying to get the best candidates to fight the coming election."
However, when asked why he was giving a ticket to someone who had pending cases against him, Rajbar did an about-turn saying that his party was keen to have candidates with a clean image. He refused to explain himself.
According to Sarogi, Rajbar himself spoke to them a fortnight ago and was keen to have Salem in his BSP party. In fact, Rajbar even spoke to Sarogi on Friday night (August 25, 2006) to ensure that Salem did not retract his decision of joining BSP.
When Sunday MiD DAY told Sarogi that Rajbar was having second thoughts, Sarogi said, "Rajbar is playing safe and does not want to open his cards before the media till the nomination papers are filed."
Sarogi even claimed that all the expenses of Salem's election campaign would be taken care of by BSP.
Maharashtra State's Chief Electoral Officer UPS Madan explaining the legal position, said, "There is no bar on an accused contesting elections till convicted by the court. But it is important that the undertrial's name is there in the electoral roles of the state failing which, he cannot file his nomination papers".
The other hindrance for Salem would have been had he given up his Indian nationality when he was staying in Portugal. But his lawyer Sarogi confirmed that while in Portugal, Salem had a resident visa in a fake name. So his Indian nationality remains intact.
Inspector General of Prisons Srikant Savarkar said, "We have not received any official communication on this. Salem's counsel may make necessary applications before the judiciary and we would do the needful as per the court directives".
Salem is presently lodged in barrack no 10 of Arthur Road jail. According to Jail Superintendent Swati Sathe, "If at all he has to file any nomination paper, it would be through me but till now we have not received any such intimation".
When asked if Salem could cast his vote, Sathe explained that undertrials and convicts could not, as per law, but those who were arrested under preventive sections could cast their vote by postal ballot.
Meanwhile if Sarogi is to be believed, he has already obtained Salem's consent and is waiting for the nomination papers soon.
http://epapers2.mid-day.com/midday/scripts/epaper/epapermain.aspx?queryed=12&eddate=8/27/2006

Tronic
27 Aug 06,, 16:01
lol... yes... all goons end up joining politics... thats why it happens to be so dirty... they probably don't want him... they want to get his thugs under their control...

Akshay
27 Aug 06,, 16:09
Tronic,

Things will be totally different in next 20-30 years. But for the current situation, we ourselves are to blame. Shatrughan Sinha rightfully said 'If good people do not want to join politics then they should be ready to be governed by bad people'.

Tronic
27 Aug 06,, 17:15
Shatrughan Sinha rightfully said 'If good people do not want to join politics then they should be ready to be governed by bad people'.

and that is 100% true... but their is not enough drive in us it seems to storm politics and we continue to let the goons run the system... thats the sad part... we know something should be done but no one is doing it... glad to see atleast Bollywood is making an effort at trying to get the youth to rise up against these goons....

Archer
27 Aug 06,, 20:03
and that is 100% true... but their is not enough drive in us it seems to storm politics and we continue to let the goons run the system... thats the sad part... we know something should be done but no one is doing it... glad to see atleast Bollywood is making an effort at trying to get the youth to rise up against these goons....

Bollywood is run by the biggest goons themselves...the spate of gangster movies in the past decade was partly financed by all the bhais wanting sundry film-makers to show them off as robin hoods and how "cool" they were..in india, the politicians are the worst scum of all, followed by the career criminals who prosper thanks to the politicians...

Tronic
27 Aug 06,, 20:23
Bollywood is run by the biggest goons themselves...the spate of gangster movies in the past decade was partly financed by all the bhais wanting sundry film-makers to show them off as robin hoods and how "cool" they were..in india, the politicians are the worst scum of all, followed by the career criminals who prosper thanks to the politicians...
yea... maybe...