Social activist Nafisa Ali returned to the Congress after a brief stint with the Samajwadi party. She contested the Lok Sabha elections this year from Lucknow as the SP candidate. Ms. Ali was formally inducted in the party by the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president, Rita Bahuguna Joshi at the party headquarters here on Thursday.

Ms. Ali campaigned for Shyam Kishore Shukla, the Congress candidate from the Lucknow West Assembly constituency on Wednesday and Thursday . Lucknow West is among the 11 Assembly constituencies where bye elections will be held on Saturday.

Describing her stint in the SP as an aberration ( she claimed that she had not joined the party ), Ms. Ali told reporters that her decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow was a form of protest ( against the Congress ). However, Ms. Ali said she was grateful to the Congress high command for accepting her request to return to the Congress.

Reiterating her faith in the Congress principles, Ms. Ali said, the future of Uttar Pradesh and the country was safe in Congress hands, which needed to be strengthened.