SP expels Azam, he blames it on Amar

Written by Political Bureau | Lucknow | Updated: May 26 2009, 04:27am hrs
Curtains are finally down on the over two-month-long internal war in the Samajwadi Party (SP) which played out in full public view in Rampur during the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday expelled Azam Khan from the party for six years. Earlier in the day, Khan resigned from the post of deputy leader of the SP Legislative Party in the state assembly.

SP state president Shivpal, who made the announcement, accused Azam Khan of anti-party activities and indiscipline. Khan was not attending party meetings, making objectionable remarks and levelling baseless charges against senior leaders of the party, he said.

Azam Khan termed his expulsion a sad experience and blamed SP general secretary Amar Singh for the turn of events. The party should maintain a distance from people like Amar Singh. I am not saying he should be ousted from the party but he should be asked to do what he is best in, which is certainly not politics.

On the possibility of joining the Congress, Khan quipped, When my own party can throw me out after 25 years of loyalty, what can be said of an association of 25 days

During the Lok Sabha election, Khan had openly opposed SP candidate Jaya Prada and backed the Congresss Noor Bano. However, Jaya Prada not only won, but got more votes than Noor Bano in the Rampur assembly segment, which Khan represents.

The conflict within the SP started after Mulayam Singh joined hands with former BJP chief minister Kalyan Singh for the Lok Sabha polls. Khan objected to this alliance, pointing out that it was during Kalyan Singhs regime that the Babri Masjid was demolished.

He openly criticised Mulayam Singhs decision and stopped attending party meetings. Several other Muslim leaders, like Shafiqur Reham Birk, Salim Sherwani, and Shahid Siddiqui objected and left the SP.