Allahabad: Widow of a slain legislator is seeking re-election from Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad (West) constituency where she faces electoral challenge from her husband's murder accused and a former Ranji captain.

Sitting BSP MLA Puja Pal is pitted against mafia-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, an accused in her husband's murder case. Ahmed has won the seat five times in a row, mostly as an Independent.

In 2004, he was elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Phulpur on a Samajwadi Party ticket, which this time has fielded former UP Ranji team captain Jyoti Yadav (35) from the seat.

Ahmed, who was once behind the formation of Apna Dal, is contesting the third phase of the UP polls on February 15 as its candidate.

Raju Pal of BSP had won the 2004 Assembly bypoll to the Allahabad (West) seat.

On January 25, 2005, he was shot dead in broad daylight, just days after his marriage. In the ensuing bypoll, BSP had fielded his widow Puja as its candidate who had used her husband's bullet-ridden vehicle for campaigning but the BSP seat was wrested by Ahmed's brother Ashraf.

Ahmed is an accused in the Raju Pal murder case.

Puja succeeded in wresting the seat back for BSP in the 2007 assembly polls which also saw BSP coming to power in Uttar Pradesh.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has termed Jyoti as the party's "young blood".

Jyoti's father Gopal Das was Janata Dal MLA from the same constituency in 1984-1989 and is considered close to the SP supremo.

(Agencies)