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Congress Secy Imran Masood Likely To Leave Party

Lucknow: The Congress in Uttar Pradesh is apparently set to suffer another jolt as speculation is rife about Imran Masood leaving the party.
The talk about Imran Masood, who is also an All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, leaving the party to join the Samajwadi Party has gained credibility after he said that it is the Samajwadi Party alone that can stop the BJP from returning to power.
"SP is the only party that can defeat BJP in UP," said Imran Masood, a former MLA from Saharanpur.
Masood, when asked about his plans, said, "Politics is all about permutations and combinations. And, possibilities are numerous. There is nothing wrong about joining a party or leaving a party."
Masood, who had lost recent elections, said had he been associated with "SP or BSP, my victory would have been 100 per cent certain. Now my supporters are also becoming restless. They are saying enough is enough".
He has never won any election after 2007, which was his first win.
The SP leaders feel that Imran Masood's entry into the SP would boost the party's prospects in western Uttar Pradesh.
"His Masood family has always had close ties with the Samajwadi Party leaders. Imran Masood's uncle and mentor Rasheed Masood was close to both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav. So, if Masood joins SP, it will not be a surprise because the Congress has lost its base. I think it will be a homecoming for Imran," said Rajpal Singh, a senior SP leader and former minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government.
Congress leaders, however, were unfazed at the development.
"Those who have to go will go and we cannot do anything about it. This just shows that their loyalty was never with the party," said a senior Congress leader.
The party has already lost former MP Annu Tandon to the SP and Jitin Prasad to the BJP. Former MLA Lalitesh Pati Tripathi has also quit the Congress. --IANS