The former member of the U.P. Minorities Commission, Nasheed Ahmed Khan, will be the Samajwadi Party candidate from Rampur in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

Rampur, situated in the Muslim-dominated Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, is Urban Development Minister Mohammad Azam Khan’s political backyard and the Samajwadi Party candidate is said to be of his choice.

Party president Mulayam Singh had authorised Mr. Azam Khan to take a final call on the candidate.

Mr. Nasheed Ahmed Khan’s candidature was declared by the party on Saturday. Rampur is among the 11 constituencies where polling would be held in the second phase on April 17.

With Mr. Khan’s nomination, the Samajwadi Party has declared the names of candidates for 78 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the State. Only Rae Bareli and Amethi remain.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the Rampur seat was won by Jaya Prada, who was fielded by Mr. Mulayam Singh despite opposition from Mr. Azam Khan.

Ms. Prada’s nomination from Rampur (she had won the seat for the SP in the 2004 Lok Sabha poll ) and former SP leader Amar Singh’s reported influence over the Samajwadi Party president was one of the factors for the rift between Mr. Mulayam Singh and Mr. Azam Khan. He was subsequently expelled from the party.

Things turned full circle when Mr. Amar Singh was expelled and Mr. Azam Khan made a return to the party.

Jaya Prada is likely to join the Congress and may be fielded from the neighbouring Moradabad.

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