Gorakhpur: The three-day state
convention of Samajwadi Party will begin in Gorakhpur from Thursday as the
party struggles to regain its lost ground in Uttar Pradesh
after the episodes involving expulsion of Amar Singh and Azam
The party has given a prominent place to Azam Khan and
jailed MLA Amarmani Tripathi, who has been convicted in
poetess Madhumita murder case, in the banners and posters that
dot the city for the convention to be held at the newly
christened Janeshwar Mishra Nagar near Champa Devi Park in
Ramgarh Taal area.
Azam Khan, who was once the Muslim face of the party
but fell out with the leadership over Mulayam Singh Yadav`s
joining hands with former chief minister Kalyan Singh and the
SP chief`s close association with Amar Singh, returned to the
party fold in December.
Khan`s bete-noir Amar Singh was expelled from the
party in February last year for indulging in anti-party
activities and has launched an anti-Mulayam tirade since then.
Political observers say that the party`s decision to
hold the convention in this part of UP is due to several
reasons including to woo Muslims and certain Hindu castes like
Rajputs and Brahmins to counter of campaigns of Amar Singh and
local BJP MP Yogi Aditya Nath.
Political observer Gunjeswari Prasad says the party
traditionally has had a strong foothold in 27 districts of
eastern UP. More than 110 assembly constituencies fall in
"This chunk is now divided between BJP, BSP and local
parties like newly born peace party of Ayub Khan. Amar Singh
has already completed two phases of his Purvanchal Swabhiman
Yatra," says Prasad.
SP leaders said the three-day convention will focus on
issues of price rise, corruption and law and order situation.