Azam back in SP to boost party before 2012 UP Assembly polls

The party feels that Khan`s re-entry would brighten its electoral prospects in the state.

Updated: Dec 05, 2010, 00:29 AM IST

Lucknow: Prominent Muslim leader Mohammad Azam
Khan on Saturday formally rejoined Samajwadi Party, a move that
could bolster its prospects in the 2012 Assembly elections in
Uttar Pradesh given his clout among the minority community.

62-year-old Khan, who was expelled from SP over a year ago
on charges of indulging in anti-party activities, met party
supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav at his residence here in the
morning.

They reached the party office together to attend the
meeting of state office bearers to the discuss the strategy
for the Assembly polls. The meeting was attended by SP MPs and
MLAs and other senior leaders.

The two leaders shook hands signalling that they had
buried their differences.

Yadav said SP cannot move ahead without Azam`s
participation, while the Muslim leader, on his part, termed
his second entry in the party fold as homecoming and said a
bad dream was finally over.

At the meeting, Mulayam`s brother Shiv Pal Singh Yadav
announced that he was resigning from the post of Leader of the
Opposition in the state Assembly so that Khan could take over.

Khan, however, turned down the offer, saying, "If I
accept the post, fingers would be raised that this reunion is
for political gains. I want to remain just a member of the
family."

Before being expelled from the party in 2009 for six
years, Khan was Leader of the Opposition in the UP Assembly.

The party feels that Khan`s re-entry would brighten its
electoral prospects in the state.

Khan was expelled from the SP after the last Lok Sabha
polls on charges of indulging in anti-party activities and
opposing the candidature of Jaya Prada from Rampur.

He had objected to SP joining hands with former BJP
leader Kalyan Singh during the polls to avoid a dent in the
party`s Muslim vote bank.

The SP chief later parted ways with Kalyan and also
Khan`s bete noire Amar Singh, paving way for the former
leader`s re-entry in the party.

Khan, while making a veiled attack on Singh, said,
"Someone had to identify the opportunist person, who cheated
on the party and caused loss."

He said there were persons who played with the emotions
of others and then expressed their hatred.

"They had said that it was not important whether they
live or not, but it was necessary that Mulayam must die," he
said.

Khan said he has a 30-year-old association with the SP
supremo and this was why even after being expelled, he never
thought of joining any other organisation.

"Though I had offers, I knew that one day my leader will
realise my feelings," he said.

Without naming Kalyan Singh, he said a person responsible
for the demolition of Babri Mosque was the "criminal of
humanity."

"I have also seen a man, who had the misconception that
he could make or break the government at Delhi, touching the
feet of this person (responsible for the demolition)," Khan
said, attacking both Kalyan and Amar.

On claims that Mulayam had apologised to Muslims for
associating with Kalyan, he said, "In reality, he apologised
to the entire country so that no one can dare raise a finger
at him."

"On October 30, 1990, Yadav did not order police firing
just to appease the Muslims, but he did so as part of his
responsibility," he added.

Police had opened fire on Karsevaks in Ayodhya on October
30, 1990, in which left many of them dead and injured -- an
action that helped the BJP win power in the state in 1991.

Defending Yadav`s stand on the Allahabad High Court
verdict on the Ayodhya title suits that the judgement was
given on the basis of faith, Khan said Muslims felt cheated.

Welcoming Khan back in the SP fold, Yadav said in the
current political scenario when the party had to play an
important role, the senior leader cannot be kept away.

"Azam`s entry in the party has encouraged workers. There
might have been some differences in the party, but these have
been cleared," he added.

PTI