In a major boost to opposition unity, the Lok Dal candidate who was contesting against his sister-in-law and Rashtriya Lok Dal nominee Tabassum Hasan in the Kairana Lok Sabha by-election in Uttar Pradesh withdrew from the contest on Thursday.
Lok Dal's Kanwar Hasan also announced his support for the RLD nominee who is being backed by the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress and Nishad Party.
The development, which could unite the minority vote in favour of the RLD, could make the going tough for Mriganka Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate who is the daughter of Hukum Singh, whose death necessitated the by-election.
Voting will be held in Kairana on May 28.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is campaigning in the area to ensure that there was no repeat of Gorakhpur and Phulpur where the BJP lost to the Samajwadi Party in Lok Sabha by-elections.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Aam Aadmi Party had announced it will support the RLD candidate in the Kairana parliamentary by-poll and SP candidate in Noorpur assembly constituency.
AAP Rajya Sabha member and national spokesman Sanjay Singh told IANS that his party had decided to throw its lot behind the opposition so as to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates as its divisive politics needed to be defeated.
"We have decided that there has to be solidarity amongst the opposition parties on these two seats and hence this decision," said Singh, who also is the in-charge of UP affairs.
Though AAP is a fringe player in the state, its decision is being seen as a boost to the opposition unity to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will seek a second term in the office in 2019. The Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nishad Party have already thrown their lot behind the SP and RLD candidates.