The two political stalwarts in Saharanpur, hailing from the same family, have reunited after over 7 years of rivalry in politics. Former MP Rashid Masood, his son Shadan Masood and Congress vice president of the state Imraan Masood have finally come together brightening prospects for the Congress in the forthcoming Look Sabha election from Saharanpur. The reunion of the Masood family in Saharanpur is considered to be a political boost for the Congress in the region which has been trying hard to revive the party in western UP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi wants to play on the front foot in this Lok Sabha election and hence he has deputed young and dynamic Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had earned success for the party in recent Madhya Pradesh assembly election, and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose political debut was desired by many in the party for several years.
It is believed that the Congress would target those constituencies more where the party had a stronghold in the past and Saharanpur is one such seat. In the 2017 assembly election out of the seven seats, Congress won in the state two were from Saharanpur In the 2014 Lok Sabha election the party candidate Imraan Masood lost to. Raghav Lakhanpal of BJP. Senior leader Rashid Masood had been the party MP from Congress from here in the past but distanced himself from the party when his nephew Imraan Masood was preferred by the party over his son Shadan. Imraan too had performed well in the past two assembly elections contesting on Congress ticket losing the seat by a margin of a little over 4000 votes both times.
Hence the reunion of Masoods will definitely add to the votes of the Congress candidate who is very likely to be Imraan.
Overwhelmed by this development, Imraan Masood has already appraised Priyanka and Scindia about this significant political development in the family and party. “I have informed the leadership about the reunion of the family,” he said, confident of his victory from Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency. ” Blessings of uncle Rashid Masood and support of cousin Shadan Masood will surely result in the victory of Congress this time,” he asserted. Veteran Congress leader Rashid Masood (71) has been the MP from Saharanpur for five times in the 6th, 7th,9th, 10th and 14th Lok Sabha. Imraan Masood had been the chairman of the municipal corporation of Saharanpur and also MLA but could not win the Lok Sabha seats from Saharanpur in the past two elections as he did not get the support of his uncle Rashid who was supporting his son Shadan who contested on a Samajwadi Party ticket against Imraan. But neither Imraan nor Shadan could win as they were cutting each other’s votes.
In fact, Imran and Rasheed Masood were in Congress but a rift developed in the family over ticket in 2012 Assembly elections after which both parted ways. Imran contested the election as Congress candidate against his cousin Shadan Masood who got a ticket from Samajwadi Party. Imran Masood lost the election by a margin of 4564 votes to Dr Dharam Singh Saini of BSP. Again in 2017 Assembly election Shadan Masood opposed Imran Masood who was contesting on a Congress ticket. This time again he was defeated by BJP candidate Dharam Singh Saini by a slender margin of 4057 votes. Imraan who had won 2007 Assembly elections from Muzaffarabad constituency now Behat) lost both the times because of the opposition of his own family. In 2006 he had also won Saharanpur Nagar Palika chairman but he was then backed by his uncle.
Congress had been performing well in the elections from Saharanpur in the past. While Rashid Masood used to win the seat for the party until the 14th Lok Sabha the party performed considerably better in the assembly elections as well in comparison to other parts of the state and that was because of the influence of the Masood family. In the 2017 assembly election, 2 out of 7 seats won by Congress were from Saharanpur district.
Congress candidate Naresh Saini defeated BJP`s Mahaveer Singh Rana by a margin of 25586 votes in Behat constituency and another congress candidate Masood Akhtar defeated BSP candidate Jagpal Singh by a margin of 12324 votes. Imran, however, lost by a margin of 4057 votes because of the opposition of Rasheed Masood and his son Shadan.
Now things would change politically, said Rasheed Masood commenting that it was a collective decision of the Masood family to end political rivalry and support Imran.