With Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt out of contention, social activist Nafisa Ali was on Sunday named as the Samajwadi Party candidate from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.
"Nafisa Ali is a personal friend, and when I asked her whether she would come to Lucknow as SP's candidate or would like to represent a party (Congress) which has no political base in UP, she said that she has full faith in SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's secular ideologies and is ready to contest elections from Lucknow as SP candidate," party General Secretary Amar Singh told a television channel in New Delhi.
Ali, 52, had earlier contested the 2004 parliamentary polls on a Congress ticket against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee from South Kolkata seat but had lost.
The party zeroed in on her as the Supreme Court last week rejected Sanjay Dutt's plea for suspension of his conviction in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blast to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
Dutt was the party's star candidate for the Lucknow seat.