A day after Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal Shafiqur Rehman Barq openly criticised the party, and alleged that it has stopped working for Muslims, voices of dissent have emerged from the office of SP leader Azam Khan. At a meeting held in Rampur on Sunday, it was said that Azam Khan was sacrificed and Muslims were made enemies of the BJP.
Azam Khan’s media in charge and close aide, Fasahat Ali alias Shanu, said what chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said that party chief Akhilesh Yadav does not want Azam Khan to come out of jail is “correct”. “Akhilesh Yadav has sacrificed Azam Khan. We have been made enemies of the BJP. Akhilesh Yadav did not even go to the jail to meet Azam Khan. The 111 seats that the SP won in the election came because of us, yet Akhilesh could not become ours.”
After Fasahat Ali’s statement, new speculations have started in the political corridors, and now people are wondering if Azam Khan will also distance himself from the Samajwadi Party, just like Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav.
Rampur MLA Azam Khan is currently lodged in Sitapur jail. He fought the 2022 assembly elections from jail and won. Azam Khan has been winning from Rampur since 1980, but faced defeat at the hands of Congress only once in 1996.
Barq’s criticism of SP has been captured in a video, and is doing the rounds on social media, raising eyebrows within the party. “I am not satisfied with the working (of the party). The entire Samajwadi is not working for the Muslims,” he had said in the video.
This is the second time in the last few days when Muslim leaders from the SP have raised their voice against their Akhilesh Yadav and the party ignoring Muslims even after receiving a majority of votes from the community in the recently held state assembly elections.
According to party sources, Akhilesh Yadav has been shying away from his pro-Muslim image for quite some time in an attempt to douse any kind of polarisation. However, the party’s newly adopted stand can backfire as Muslim leaders are becoming more vocal about the issues.