A leader of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) party is being accused of having his own brother and a family friend killed to gain the 'sympathy vote' in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections.

According to a Times of India report, Manoj Gautam allegedly believed that if there was a death in the family before the elections, he could blame his rivals for it and gain from it in the upcoming election.

Firoz(L) with Manoj Gautam (R) | Source: YouTube

Two bullet-riddled bodies had been found in a mango orchard near Khurja on Wednesday. They were later identified as those of Vinod Gautam, the RLD candidate's elder brother, and their family friend Sachin (25).

"The deceased had been missing since Tuesday," a police official said.

The police has said that the RLD candidate had hired two killers- identified as Firoz Shabir and Parminder Jatav - for the murders and both were paid Rs 1 lakh each, reports The Times of India.

Hindustan Times reports that it was a telephonic conversation between Parminder and Firoz that helped solve the case.

The report adds that the killings were planned for after RLD leader Jayant Choudhary's rally in the area on Monday. After the rally got over, Gautam called his brother Vinod to pick him up from Agwal village.

The gunmen shot Vinod and the family friend, while they were waiting in their car for Gautam.

The Hindu reports that Gautam was contesting from Khurja assembly seat in Bulandshahr.

Gautam has reportedly told the police that he desperately wanted a ticket from the BSP, which he couldn't get. So when the Ajit Singh-led RLD gave him a ticket, he did not want to leave any stone unturned to ensure his victory.

(With inputs from PTI)

(Feature image source: YouTube)