Debating India


Abu Salem to contest U.P. polls

Friday 29 December 2006

His lawyer says Salem has launched Rashtriya Samajwadi Party

Mumbai: Jail bars have not dampened the political aspirations of extradited gangster Abu Salem. He now has a political banner set up by his lawyer, under which he can contest the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in his hometown Mubarakpur.

Counsel for Salem, Ashok Sarogi, told PTI on Thursday that he had formed the Rashtriya Samajwadi Party on whose ticket his client would contest.

``We had applied to the Election Commission [for permission] to form the party in August this year and we have just received approval. The party will provide a fresh outlook for the people, who are tired of the existing parties,’’ Mr. Sarogi said.

Motorcycle symbol

Satyendra Singh Yadav, a Bollywood actor, had been chosen president of the party, while he would be its general secretary, Mr. Sarogi said.

The party, which has an ``undisclosed number of members,’’ would have motorcycle as its symbol and it would get its first taste of electoral politics during the coming civic polls in the city. It intended fielding candidates, he said.

It planned to contest at least 20 seats in UP Assembly elections.

Party’s agenda

``The main agenda will be to oppose the high-handedness of the police and expose corruption. Also, a major point will be non-payment of dues to embroidery workers,’’ Mr. Sarogi said.

``He [Salem] is content with the formation of the party and is looking forward to contesting the elections next year. He has not yet taken membership of the party, but is expected to contest under this political banner,’’ he said.

Salem was extradited from Portugal in November 2005 along with his companion Bollywood actress Monica Bedi for his alleged involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, among others.

Allegedly involved in extorting money from the film industry here, Salem has also been accused of being involved in the murder of Ajit Dewani, former secretary to actor Manisha Koirala. - PTI

See online : The Hindu

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