Why Rampur Bypoll Has Become a New Point of Conflict Between Azam Khan and Akhilesh Yadav

With many differences seem to have widened the rift between Samajwadi Party’s Rampur MLA Azam Khan and Akhilesh Yadav, sources have revealed that the bypoll in the Rampur Parliamentary constituency is likely to be the main point of contention between Khan and the party leadership. Few days ago, Khan had tendered his resignation from his Lok Sabha membership after winning this year’s assembly election from Rampur.

Highly placed sources in the Samajwadi Party have said Khan wants one of his family members be fielded in the Rampur bypoll but Akhilesh Yadav has not yet given an approval for any candidate.

Khan and his son Abdullah Azam had won the 2022 assembly elections from Rampur and Suar assembly seat, while his wife Tazeen Fatima is a former MLA.

Khan has been meeting Akhilesh Yadav’s disgruntled uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party – Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal Yadav in Sitapur jail, and Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam. Khan had reportedly refused to meet a delegation of SP MLAs who had come to the jail to meet him.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav has been repeatedly saying he and his party stand firmly with Khan and are making efforts for his release.

However, after meeting Khan in the jail, Shivpal Yadav had said, “The Samajwadi Party has done nothing for a senior leader like him. Ideally, the SP chief should have sat on a ‘dharna’ in the Lok Sabha along with Neta ji (Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh’s father and Shivpal’s brother) and other opposition parties. PM Modi respects Neta ji and he would have definitely taken cognisance of the issue.”

Shivpal has also hinted that there could be a discussion after Eid about forming a third front or a new political party.

Now, SP ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar has asked for time to meet Khan before Eid. His Mau MLA Abbas Ansari may also accompany him.

Earlier, the media in charge and close aide of Khan, Fasahat Ali Shanu, had said, “Azam Khan has been in jail for the last two and a half years but the Samajwadi Party has done nothing for his release, didn’t even protest in one district. What would be more absurd than this that Akhilesh Yadav met Azam Khan in jail only once.”

“Can it be assumed that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is right in saying that Akhilesh Yadav does not want Azam Khan to come out of jail,” he had asked. He also accused Akhilesh of neglecting Azam Khan, saying the party president did not take his name when he spoke in the Assembly recently.

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