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The Samajwadi Party on Saturday distanced itself from Shahid Siddiqui, saying he is no longer a part of the party. The announcement came two days after he interviewed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the Urdu newspaper he edits.
“The party wants to clarify that Mr. Siddiqui had left SP long back and joined BSP on whose ticket he contested Lok Sabha election from Bijnor,” party spokesman Ram Gopal Yadav said in a statement. Later Siddiqui joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal, he added.
“Mr. Siddiqui is not a SP member and has nothing to do with the party,” Yadav said, asking the media not to project him as SP leader.
Siddiqui is the editor of Urdu weekly Nai Duniya. He recently interviewed Modi, in which the Hindutva leader refused to apologize for the post-Godhra riots. Instead, Modi said he would prefer to be hanged if found guilty.