Senior SP leader Rashid Masood to join Cong

Lucknow: In a setback to Samajwadi Party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, its senior leader Rashid Masood today announced his decision to resign from the party and quit Rajya Sabha before joining Congress.

"I will leave SP as its supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is not working in the interest of the community and join Congress," the former Union minister said. Masood said he will quit Rajya Sabha on reaching Delhi.

The SP leader was reportedly angry with the party leadership after he was ignored in the selection of candidates for the 2012 Assembly elections, especially in western UP, where he has a large number of supporters. Masood alleged that old workers in SP were ignored and only Akhilesh Yadav and Mohammad Azam Khan were running the party.

"With Mulayam handing over charge of the party to Akhilesh, old and devoted party workers are feeling ignored," he said alleging that Mulayam was against quota within quota for Muslims.