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Akhilesh Yadav reaffirms support for incarcerated Azam Khan amid speculation of a rift

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Amid speculation of a rift with Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party chief and ex-Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav reaffirmed support for his senior party colleague. 

Akhilesh Yadav, Azam Khan

Image: PTI

Amid speculation of a rift with Azam Khan, Samajwadi Party chief and ex-Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav reaffirmed support for his senior party colleague.  A 10-time MLA from Rampur, Khan has been in jail since February 2020 in connection with a number of cases. He is yet to get bail in only one case pertaining to illegally acquiring property and merging it with Jauhar University. Speaking to the media on Sunday, Yadav reiterated that his party would provide all possible legal assistance to the legislator. On This occasion, he accused BJP of falsely implicating Khan in multiple cases. 


Akhilesh Yadav remarked, “Samajwadi Party is with him. It is a legal matter. Samajwadi Party will extend all possible legal help that it can. BJP did injustice to him. BJP deliberately posted such officers so that he suffers injustice and fake cases can be created.”


Azam Khan miffed with SP?


On April 10, Azam Khan’s media in-charge Fasahat Ali Khan Sanu levelled serious allegations against Akhilesh Yadav and lamented that he had visited the Rampur MLA in jail only once. He endorsed UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s charge during the election campaign that Yadav doesn’t want Khan to be released from prison as it would pose a threat to his position as the SP president. Lambasting Yadav for not talking about Khan in public anymore, he expressed disappointment that the former had decided to become the Leader of Opposition in the UP Assembly. 


Maintaining that SP secured 111 seats in the recently concluded Assembly election because of Azam Khan, his media in-charge said, “This is not my angst, but the angst of crores of weak people, i.e Muslims. We cast our vote, roll out the red carpet, go to jail, get sentenced and you become the Leader of Opposition! We made you and your father the CM 4 times. But you can’t make Azam Khan the Leader of Opposition? I expressed this angst.”


Interestingly, the SP chief’s uncle Shivpal Yadav met Azam Khan in the Sitapur Jail on April 22. Later, he told the media, “Azam Khan is a senior member of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly and one of the founding members of the Samajwadi Party but SP is not helping him. He was also a member of the Rajya Sabha. It is very unfortunate that Samajwadi Party is not fighting like Azam Khan”. In another sign of rift within the party, Khan reportedly refused to meet an SP delegation led by MLA Ravidas Mehrotra on Sunday.

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