Lok Sabha elections: Man who threatened to ‘chop’ Narendra Modi ‘into pieces’ is Congress candidate from Saharanpur

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Imran Masood, the man who had threatened to chop Narendra Modi into pieces in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, has been named the Congress candidate for Saharanpur in the partys first list of candidates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The first list of candidates released by the Congress party on Thursday had 15 names, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi who will contest from Raebareli and Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi. Contrary to expectations, the party has not named general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in the first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. While Priyankas absence from the initial list hogged the limelight, Congress decision to field Masood is sure to spark a controversy. In the heat of the Lok Sabha poll campaign in 2014, Masood had said: Uski boti kaat denge choti choti Here (UP), there are 42 percent Muslims, he will make it like Gujarat. Will chop him into pieces.) He was later released on bail and was the Congress candidate for the Saharanpur seat for the national election and had lost to BJP candidate Raghav Lakhanpal, whose party, alongside an ally, won 72 of the Uttar Pradeshs 80 seats. READ ALSO | This is not the Congress way. In 2015 too, Imran Masood was spotted standing next to Rahul Gandhi during his Saharanpur padyatra, raising many eyebrows. I have apologised for my mistake. But in BJP who have made hate speeches have not apologized, he was quoted by NDTV as saying. In 2016 as well, Masood was given a huge role in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in the state. He was made one of the four party Vice-Presidents in Uttar Pradesh. The candidate list for lok sabha elections 2019 has generated buzz in political corridors with the party choosing not to name Priyanka Gandhi who entered active politics in January 2019 as the new party general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, the traditional bastion of BJP The first list names four from Gujarat and 11 candidates from UP. As expected, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi will contest for Amethi and Raebareli seats, which have been strongholds for the family since 2004. It is to be noted that both Amethi and Raebareli, the Gandhi legacy seats in Uttar Pradesh, are the only seats Congress had won in the 2014 general elections. On the other hand, it did choose to field its senior leaders from UP. Salman Khurshid will contest from Farrukhabad where he had lost in 2014. Other leaders named in the first list of the Congress are RPN Singh from Kushi Nagar, Annu Tandon from Unnao, Jitin Prasad from Dhaurahra, Brij Lal Khabri from Jalaun, Nirmal Khatri from Faizabad and Rajaram Pal from Akbarpur.

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