Lucknow: Jailed Samajwadi Party leader and the current Lok Sabha MP from Rampur, Azam Khan, has been given ticket to contest the upcoming assembly election in Uttar Pradesh from his home turf Rampur, the Samajwadi Party announced today. Mr Khan has been in jail since February 2020 in various cases filed against him in the tenure of Yogi Adityanath’s BJP government.
The SP has also announced Abdullah Azam, Azam Khan’s son – who was also in jail for two years and recently got bail, as the party’s candidate for the neighboring Suar constituency.
In 2017, Abdullah Azam contested the assembly election from Suar as a Samajwadi Party candidate and tasted victory but in December 2019, the Allahabad High Court cancelled his victory saying he was below the age of 25 when he filed his nomination. Since Feb 2020, Abdullah Azam has been in jail on multiple charges including cheating.
Meanwhile, there were speculation rife in political circle whether Azam Khan and his son will be given Samajwadi Party tickets for this election.
In the recent years, the Uttar Pradesh police filed multiple cases against Mr. Khan and his family, most of which are related to cheating and forgery.
Earlier this month, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched scathing attack on its rival party, SP in Rampur, alleging earlier, the famous ‘Rampuri’ knives were used only for grabbing the land of the poor and now, the current state government is promoting it under the ODOP scheme to enrich people.
In 2020, after Azam Khan and his family surrendered before a court in Rampur in a case involving fake birth certificates, the CM said his government was “cleaning up dirt”.
In an apparent reference to the arrest in the state assembly, the CM Yogi said, “Virus grows in dirt. There is a campaign to clean this kind of dirt”.
The BJP has already announced its candidate from Rampur – Akash Saxena, a businessman and local BJP leader responsible for many of the cases against Azam Khan and his family.
Also, the BJP’s ally Apna Dal(S) has fielded a Muslim candidate for the first by the NDA in UP since 2014 against Abdullah Azam in Suar.
Haider Ali Khan, a member of the erstwhile royals of Rampur, will contest from the Suar Assembly constituency in the seven-phase UP Election 2022. Haider is the grandson of veteran Congress leader Noor Bano and will take on Azam Khan’s son from the seat. His grandfather Zulfiqar Ali Khan was a five-term Congress MP from Rampur. Whereas, his father, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, is a four-term MLA who as of now is the Congress candidate from Rampur – a seat next door to Suar.
On January 22, Azam Khan had moved the Supreme Court seeking interim bail to campaign in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. In his plea, Khan stated that the State has adopted all means available to purposefully delay the proceedings in these remaining three bail applications so as to ensure that the petitioner is incarcerated during the State Assembly Elections scheduled to be held in Uttar Pradesh from February 10 to March 7 and cannot join in the election campaign for his party.