Updated: August 28, 2016 5:32:06 am
In an attempt to rebuild his Jat-Muslim political base, which was severely strained by the 2013 UP communal riots, Rashtriya Lok Dal(RLD) chief Ajit Singh on Saturday appointed former state minister Masood Ahmed as the party’s new state president.
RLD national general secretary Anil Dubey said Ahmed has been appointed as state president, around a month after the death of incumbent Munna Singh Chauhan.
The move is seen as an attempt to reach out to Muslims by the party — which was severely damaged by the 2013 communal riots between Muslims and Jats in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli — ahead of the coming Assembly elections. The RLD had failed to win any seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In 2009, it won 5 seats. The riots which left over 60 dead and thousands displaced impacted state politics, especially RLD’s support base of Jats and Muslims.
Masood, who hails from Tanda in Ambedkar Nagar, joined the RLD about 2 years ago. He was first elected MLA as a BSP nominee in 1993, when he became a minister in the SP-BSP coalition. Later, he was expelled from the BSP after differences with Mayawati. He then formed his own political outfit — National Lok Hind Party — but failed to make any impact. He merged it with the SP in 2010.
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