Lucknow: Mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad, who was declared Samajwadi Party candidate from Kanpur Cant assembly seat, today said he would not contest polls.
"I will not contest assembly polls. I know Akhileshji (Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav) likes me... but then you (media) will ask him why a mafia has been given ticket," the former MP told reporters here.
Atiq, who was declared SP candidate in the list of candidates released by then state president Shivpal Yadav, said, "No candidate has been declared on the seat yet but he is opting out and will not contest assembly polls."
"I will work to strengthen the party and will not do any thing that will strengthen communal forces. I will work on seats where I have some say and ensure victory of secular forces," he added.
SP ticket to Atiq had invited criticism from BJP and BSP leaders who said it was unfortunate for Uttar Pradesh that such people with criminal background were being given poll tickets.
Even the chief minister was said to be upset with the decision to give him ticket to contest the elections. (PTI)