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LUCKNOW: BJP’s ally in UP Apna Dal (Sonelal) on Sunday declared Haidar Ali Khan as its candidate from the Suar assembly constituency in the Rampur district.

Khan was declared earlier on January 13 as the Congress candidate from the Suar assembly constituency.

Khan’s father Nawab Kazim Ali Khan is still in the Congress and is to fight the assembly elections from the neighbouring Rampur seat.

Khan is the second Congress candidate to leave the party after being declared its candidate, the first one being the candidate from Bareilly Cantonment, Supriya Aron who joined the Samajwadi Party on Saturday.

National spokesperson Rajesh Patel of Apna Dal (Sonelal) on Sunday told PTI, “The party has decided to field Haidar Ali Khan as its candidate from the Suar assembly seat.”

“Khan took the membership of the Apna Dal (S) a few days ago in Delhi after being impressed by the party leadership. The Congress had already declared him as the party candidate from Suar,” he said.

Khan had figured in the first list of Congress candidates declared on January 13.

Earlier in the 2017 assembly elections, Abdullah Azam Khan, son of veteran Samajwadi Party leader and Rampur MP Azam Khan, had fought from the Suar assembly seat as an SP candidate and had won it.

Explaining his rationale for joining the Apna Dal (S), Haidar Khan told PTI, “I joined the Apna Dal (S) so that I can ensure the development of my constituency.

“I have been inspired by the struggle of my party leader Anupriya Patel. The UP government in the past five years has worked tremendously,” he said.

“A bridge which was broken by Azam Khan was repaired by this government. There are various factors which prompted me to take this decision,” he added.

Asked about his son leaving the Congress and if he too would follow suit, Haidar’s father Nawab Kazim Ali Khan told PTI, “I am still the Congress candidate from Rampur. And, I have no plans to leave the party.”

On Saturday, Congress candidate from Bareilly Cantonment Supriya Aron had joined the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow in the presence of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Aron, a former mayor of Bareilly, joined the SP along with her husband and former Congress MP Pravin Singh Aron.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav announced her candidature from the same seat, dropping Rajesh Agarwal who was earlier declared as the SP nominee.

Journalist-turned-politician Supriya Aron’s name had figured in the first list of Congress candidates declared by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on January 13.

Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7 and the results will be announced on March 10.