SP will field Shadaan Masood — son of Congress leader Rasheed Masood — from Saharanpur parliamentary constituency, replacing Rasheed’s nephew, Imran Masood. Shadaan’s name was announced by SP’s general secretary Ramgopal Yadav Saturday after Rasheed met Mulayam Singh Yadav in Lucknow earlier this week.
Observers see the move as a jolt to SP minister Azam Khan. On Friday, Shahid Manzoor, a known Azam adversary, was elevated to the cabinet rank in Akhilesh Yadav’s ministry. On the backfoot after the Muzaffarnagar riots, Mulayam was in search of a senior Muslim leader who could bat for him in the western region of the state.