SP revokes suspension of Azam Khan

He was expelled from the party after Lok Sabha polls last year citing his anti-party activities.

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam
Singh Yadav Wednesday revoked the expulsion of senior leader Azam
Khan, who was expelled from the party after Lok Sabha polls
last year.

"SP National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav has
written a letter to Khan informing him about Mulayam Yadav`s
decision to revoke his suspension," party sources said here.

"I am extremely happy to inform you that SP national
president Mulayam Singh Yadav has revoked your expulsion from
the party," Ram Gopal said in the letter.

"You are requested to continue to serve the party like
before," he said.

Azam Khan, formerly a general secretary of the party,
was considered a close aide of the SP leader since his early
days in politics.

Azam Khan, who was a prominent Muslim face of the
party was expelled after he vented his grievances against the
leadership for Amar Singh`s rising importance and the party`s
growing proximity with former Hindutva icon Kalyan Singh.

"We hope that support of a big leader like you will
strengthen the party," Ram Gopal said in his letter.

However, Khan said he is yet to receive a letter.
He said that any decision on going back to the SP
would be taken by a sub committee of Mashwarati council, an
organisation floated by him.

Khan was expelled from the party last year after Lok
Sabha elections for a period of six years.

Considered to be a firebrand leader of the party, Khan
was at loggerheads with party colleague and another expelled
leader Amar Singh over giving a ticket to actress Jaya Prada
from Rampur and the party`s alliance with Kalyan Singh.

Ram Gopal had yesterday issued notices to two MLAs -
Shahid Manzoor and Iqbal Mahmood -who had made remarks against
Khan in the party`s legislature meeting. The two had been
given a week`s time to give their clarification failing which
disciplinary action would be taken against them.


Washington: Barack Obama, who became the first US president to personally celebrate Diwali in the historic East Room in 2009, wanted to "specifically" celebrate the festival of lights with Indians, the White House has said.

"He (Obama) specifically wanted to have an opportunity
to celebrate Diwali and to do so with the Indian people,
getting beyond simply his official business," Jeff Bader,
Senior Director for Asia Affairs at the National Security
Council, White House, said.

Bader and other top US officials were responding to
questions at "Tuesday Talks at the White House", a live web
cast from the White House on the forthcoming 10-day Asia trip
of the US President.

Commencing his four-day trip to India, Obama arrives
along with first lady Michelle Obama in Mumbai on November 6,
a day after Diwali, and are scheduled to visit a school in the
city on the following day.
At that school, he will participate in a Diwali
celebration, which includes lighting a lantern. And then the
President will have an opportunity to watch some
schoolchildren perform a cultural dance associated with it,
Bader said.
"So he`ll have the opportunity to celebrate Diwali
with these schoolchildren in Mumbai specifically, and with the
Indian people more broadly," the official said.

"Last year we were very excited to host the Diwali
event, a celebration here at the White House, underscoring
again the importance of the festival as a wonderful holiday,"
he said, referring to last year`s Diwali celebrations here.


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