In an effort to regain its lost support among Muslims, Congress in Uttar Pradesh is throwing its weight behind Azam Khan, the prominent face of the Samajwadi Party.
Uttar Pradesh: In an effort to regain its lost support among Muslims, Congress in Uttar Pradesh is throwing its weight behind Azam Khan, the prominent face of the Samajwadi Party. Khan, who has faced a barrage of legal challenges since the SP lost to the BJP in 2017, has become a focal point for Congress’s outreach to the Muslim community. The party aims to highlight alleged injustices under BJP rule, aiming to resonate with minorities who once supported Congress until 1989.
UP Congress Chief, Ajay Rai, affirmed their stand, stating, “We will fight for Azam Khan sahib. He may be with SP, but we will advocate for him.” Congress’s Minority Wing Chief, Shahnawaz Alam, revealed plans to address the growing atrocities against Muslims, including Khan’s case, at the upcoming party minority committee meeting in November. This move is part of Congress’s broader strategy to connect with Muslims, focusing on regions where Khan previously held influence.
Following the November meeting, Congress plans to launch a campaign targeting Muslims. They will organize meetings with small Muslim groups at tea shops, carrying photocopies of the Constitution to subtly emphasize their concerns about the BJP’s alleged attempts to alter the Constitution.
Several influential Muslim leaders in west Uttar Pradesh have either joined Congress or are expected to switch after the results of the upcoming state elections in December. Former lawmaker Imran Masood and Ahmad Hameed, son of influential party leader Kaukab Hameed Khan, are among those aligning with Congress.
While Congress acknowledges the sensitivity of supporting Azam Khan, a veteran of the SP, political experts warn them to tread cautiously, considering the SP’s significant influence among Muslim voters. Despite challenges, Congress asserts its commitment to raising voices against injustices faced by minorities, women, and marginalized communities.
Azam Khan has been entangled in various legal battles, most of which were filed by Akash Saxena, now a BJP MLA from Rampur. Despite the hurdles, Congress remains undeterred in its pursuit to champion Khan’s cause and regain the trust of Muslim voters, with an eye on the 2024 elections.