Jat SP leader refuses to contest polls

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SummaryMeanwhile, another Jat leader of the party, Ratenpal Panwar, resigned from SP on Saturday.

Samajwadi Party’s nominee for Baghpat Lok Sabha seat has refused to contest the polls in the aftermath of communal clashes in the region. But the party played down Jat leader Sompal Shastri’s refusal to contest the elections, saying the party has many leaders capable of contesting the polls.

“There is no dearth of leaders in the party to contest elections,” SP leader Shivpal Yadav said in Lucknow.

Sompal had won the Lok Sabha poll from Baghpat on the BJP ticket in 1998, defeating Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh.

Shastri, in a letter to party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, Saturday said, “Recent tragic events in western UP, mainly in Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat, have jolted every peace loving citizen including me... It is not possible for me to contest the elections.”

Meanwhile, another Jat leader of the party, Ratenpal Panwar, resigned from SP on Saturday, expressing displeasure over the handling of the violence. WITH PTI inputs

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