LUCKNOW: In a clever move to retain the seat of Rampur, the Samajwadi Party announced the candidature of Tazeen Fatima, wife of Rampur MP Azam Khan, for the upcoming bypoll to 11 seats due on October 21. The results will be announced on October 24.
Notably, Dr Tazeen Fatima is currently a member of Rajya Sabha from Samajwadi Party. The Rampur assembly seat got vacant after Azam Khan was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019 general elections.
However, she had to deposit Rs 30 lakh as outstanding electricity bill and related penalty on Monday before filing her papers for Rampur bypoll. It may be recalled that Fatima was booked in a case of power theft as there was electricity bill pending against her resort ‘Humsafar’ in Rampur. For filing the papers she needed the NOC from the power department, so she had to clear the outstanding bills.
In Rampur, the by-poll fight would be a four-cornered contest wherein Muslim votes would be divided among SP, BSP and Congress. The Congress has fielded Arshad Ali Khan and the BSP Zubair Masood Khan.
As per the BJP sources, the party was initially weighing options of fielding a Muslim candidate but then went ahead with Bharat Bhushan Gupta possibly in a bid to consolidate Hindu vote bank.
However, for SP, the campaign would revolve around its stalwart Azam Khan. The party would try to encash the sympathy vote as Azam Khan has been implicated over 80 cases of different nature including 28 of land grabbing and others of theft, dacoity, etc. He has been declared a land mafia on the state government’s portal.
The Samajwadi Party would play up the alleged victimisation of Azam Khan who, they claim, is being targeted by the resent dispensation under political vendetta.
However, from Rampur, a non-Muslim has never won the election since 1952. The seat has been going to the kitty of SP, especially, after the emergence of Azam Khan on the political horizon of the city famous for knives.
Khan has won the seat nine times since 1980. Congress has bagged the seat only once, in 1996. Even SP Patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had come out in support of Azam and party chief Akhilesh Yadav had visited Rampur to express solidarity with the beleaguered leader.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party has also declared candidates for remaining seats: Indrasen from Gangoh, Major Ashish Chaturvedi from Lucknow Cantt, Samrat Vikas from Govindpur Nagar, Nirbhay Singh Patel from Manikpur, Brajesh Patel from Pratapgarh Sadar, Gaurav Kumar Rawat from Zaidpur, Subhash Rai from Jalalpur, Kiran Bharti from Balha and Sudhakar Singh from Ghosi. The party has also left Iglas assembly seat in Aligarh for Rahstriya Lok Dal.