M A I N   N E W S

Abu Salem starts campaign for UP Assembly poll

Lucknow, October 22
Dreaded don Abu Salem, keen to contest the Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, has started his campaign with posters in his home constituency of Mubarakpur in Azamgarh district.

Salem, waiting for his verdict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, is said to have sent more than 50,000 posters to Mubarakpur wishing people of the constituency during the twin festival of Divali and Id.

The posters, pasted all over the constituency, read ‘Hum Ahale Hind Hai, Seene me Sher Ka Dil Rakhe hai, Agar Saath Mila Apka to Rukh Toofan Ka More Sakte Hai, Vatan Ki Abru Bachayenge, Hum Ek Khushal Bharat Banayenge’ (I am a true Indian and have a heart of a Lion, if I get your support I can change the path of any hurricane, will save the country and turn it into a developed country).

In the last part of the posters, Salem has wished the people for Divali and Id.

Though the don is eager to contest the poll, his name is missing in the poll electoral list. Several counsels have been pressed into service to seek legal opinion to include his name in the electoral rolls.

Senior counsel Harjout Singh, arguing the case of the don in the Mumbai court, said here today that as he could not go himself to Mubarakpur to wish people during the festivals, he had sent the posters on his behalf.

“It is too early to say if Abu Saleem would contest the polls as it will depend whether he is convicted by any court at that time,” he said.

A close relative of the don, Khurshid Iqbal, said people love him and the coming elections would prove his popularity.

Mubarakpur, a hub of the world famous Banarasi sarees, is a Muslim-dominated area with 50 per cent population of the weavers community.

Though Salem does not hail from Mubarakpur, his elder sister resides there and his brother-in-law Mohammad Takiuddin was spearheading his campaign.

The don has already conveyed his wish to enter the political fray to prove his ''innocence'' in criminal activities and has asked his family members to launch a low-profile campaign.

All national political parties have been approached by the don to give him a ticket. But the issue was yet to materialise. — UNI



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