Azam Khan, who was recently released from jail, and his son, also an MLA, Abdullah Azam, skip the key meeting of Samajwadi Party legislators, a day before the budget session of Uttar Pradesh assembly, in Lucknow on Sunday. Speculations are once again rife that Azam Khan may walk the path of Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal who had earlier accused the SP chief of neglect and disrespect.
The meeting was earlier called on Saturday but Akhilesh Yadav had to rush to Delhi for some urgent work after which it was rescheduled on May 22. Akhilesh will be finalising party’s strategy for SP MLAs and MLCs to question the government on several issues. However, now with Azam Khan and Abdullah Azam skipping the meet, the worries for the SP may increase in the coming days.
Speaking to News18, SP MLA Ravidas Mehrotra said,”Azam Khan is not well so he couldn’t come to attend today’s meeting. Tomorrow, both Azam Khan and his son Abdullah will be attending the budget session. Azam Khan will be sitting next to SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav in the assembly.”
Earlier on Friday while speaking to the media in Rampur, Azam Khan had said his own people were the main cause behind his miseries. But Khan also said on May 21 that he was not upset with the party nor the leadership. His likely absence from today’s meeting will further dent his relationship with Akhilesh.
The Samajwadi Party MLA from Rampur (Sadar) assembly seat, Khan was released after the Supreme Court had granted him interim bail in the 89th case registered against him. While his family expressed happiness on getting him back, they were joined by Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia chief Shivpal Yadav who has been a steady ‘support’ to Khan.
Akhilesh did not go to Sitapur to receive Azam Khan when he was released from jail after 27 months. The absence of senior SP leaders has also raised eyebrows of many from the minority community. However, after Khan’s release, Akhilesh Yadav, said in a tweet that “lies have moments, not centuries”. He hailed the leader’s release from the jail and said with granting bail, the Supreme Court had given new standards to justice.