LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party stalwart and Rampur MP Azam Khan who was arrested in a graft and forgery case with his wife and son, Wednesday, was shifted to Sitapur jail from Rampur on Thursday.
Khan, his wife Tazeen Fatima and son Mohd Abdullah, will remain in judicial custody till March 2, the next date for hearing. SP chief Akhilesh Singh Yadav, who met Azam for 45 minutes, said he had been made a victim of a ‘political conspiracy’ and BJP’s ‘vendetta politics.’“They want to tarnish his image but we believe the courts will do justice,” Yadav said. Khan’s detention is a blow to the SP, especially so, because of his sway over the Muslim constituency across UP-the mainstay of the party, besides the Yadavs.
The ascent of this lawyer turned politician since 1990 solidified the social matrix for Mulayam Singh Yadav in a big way, resulting in huge political successes for SP.Azam Khan has represented Rampur assembly nine times in UP Assembly since 1980 and is a crucial cog in the SP wheel as it prepares for Assembly polls in 2022. His detention weakens the party significantly. Khan, known as SP’s motor mouth and given to controversial statements, has nonetheless been the man to weave the SP’s political constituency, not only in western UP, but across
He had remained a trusted party loyalist, strategist, and elder to Akhilesh, even as the first family broke up, with Mulayam’s brother Shivpal charting his own way and the patriarch unable to do much due to old age.
His loss coming together with the silence of party confidante and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, makes for a tight party situation. Insiders accept that longer the detention of Azam, SP would be threatened with loss of its Muslim base, which could flock to Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi. That’s the SP worry now.
SP chief Akhilesh Singh Yadav, who met Azam for 45 minutes, said he had been made a victim of a ‘political conspiracy’ and BJP’s ‘vendetta politics.’