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Shahbuddin joins Congress
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
While leading Muslim personality Syed Shahbuddin joined the Congress today, the party is all set to add to its star cast by acquiring the support of two more film heroines.

Farah and Nagma, who are expected to join the Congress, are tipped to contest the coming Lok Sabha poll. Farah, who is better known as film star Tabu’s sister, may be the Congress party’s candidate from Meerut while Nagma could enter the fray from Andhra Pradesh. Both film stars, it is learnt, had approached the Congress and expressed a desire to battle it out in this election.

Fiery orator, three-time MP and a former IFS officer Shahbuddin met Congress president Sonia Gandhi this morning and expressed a desire to join the party. “I am joining the largest secular party to defeat the politics of deception,” Mr Shahbuddin told reporters later.

President of the the All-India Muslim Majlis-Mushawarat and convener of the now-defunct Babri Masjid Action Committee Syed Shahbuddin maintained he was joining the Congress to “heal the wounds of the nation, to reconstruct India on Nehruvian model and place India’s foreign policy on the path of non-alignment,” he said, adding that no citizen can remain isolated given the present political scenario.

Mr Shahbuddin said though he had been out of active politics since 1996 when he lost the Lok Sabha elections, he realised that he needed the “label of a party” if he wished to do something for the country. He admitted that he had been in touch with Congress leaders for the past five years and had even written several letters to Ms Gandhi on a host of issues.

Once at the forefront of the Babri Masjid movement, Mr Shahbuddin said he was willing to forget the past role of the Congress in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. “One cannot live in the past. We have to look to the future,” he said, adding that he believed all sides should wait for judicial verdict in the Babri case and abide by it, irrespective of what it is.

Mr Shahbuddin also clarified that he would not be contesting the coming Lok Sabha election though he had been offered the choice of several constituencies. 

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