LUCKNOW: With Akhilesh Yadav now at party’s helm as its national president, muscleman and mafia don-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad said here on Thursday that he would not contest the ensuing UP Assembly election on Samajwadi party ticket. However, the former MP also made it clear that he would help the party candidates win their seats.
Atiq’s name figured in SP list of 325 released by Mulayam Singh Yadav the then party president. He was given party ticket from Kanpur Cantt seat much against the wishes of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadv who has made his opposition to inclusion of tainted faces public at every possible forum. The parallel list of 167 released by Akhilesh following Mulayam’s announcement of candidates, did not carry Atiq’s name. “I will not fight this election which is very crucial for SP.
I don’t want to dent Akhilesh ji’s image in any way due to my candidature,” he told the media person while conveying his decision here on Thursday. As per the highly placed sources, Atiq, well aware of the CM’s views on musclemen and pre-empting the denial of party ticket, played the sacrifice card announcing his decision before the announcement of the names of party candidates. Accusing the media of portraying him as ‘mafia’, Atiq Ahmad said that he won’t let his taint tarnish Akhilesh’s image in the ensuing elections. “I know Akhileshji likes me...but then you (media) will ask him why a mafia has been give ticket.
I will not say anything about others like me in the party,” said the former MP adding that he would work to strengthen the party and ensure that secular vote was not divided at any cost. “I will do everything to stop communal forces coming to power in UP. I will work to make the SP candidates win on as many seats as I can,” he said.