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Abu Salem to contest UP Assembly elections

Source: PTI
October 22, 2006 21:18 IST
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Extradited gangster Abu Salem, who is cooling his heels in the central prison in Mumbai, has decided to contest the upcoming UP Assembly elections from the Mubarakpur constituency as an Independent, his lawyer Ashok Sarogi said on Sunday.

Nearly 20,000 posters and banners of the Gandhi topi and kurta clad don have been put up across the Western UP constituency wishing the people for Id and Diwali as part of a "goodwill-cum-sympathy" campaign for the gangster, Sarogi told PTI in Mumbai.

He claimed that the local unit of the Shiv Sena has already announced support for Salem. He said talks were on with some other political parties for support, but he did not name them.

"Star value is very important in Uttar Pradesh. Bollywood actors and starlets will also be campaigning for Salem though it is premature to reveal their names now. But all of them will be present-day stars and not from yesteryears," Sarogi claimed.

Salem's family members will be managing the campaign for the don, who is currently in high-security Arthur Jail in Mumbai.

Salem was extradited from Portugal in November 2005 and booked in eight cases, including the 1993 bomb blasts and the murders of builder Pradeep Jain and Ajit Dewani, former secretary of actress Manisha Koirala.

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