Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday called on Urban Development and Minority Welfare Minister Mohammad Azam Khan in a bid, sources said, to pacify him.
The outcome of the hour-long meeting, which came in the wake of Mr. Khan’s boycott of the Samajwadi Party’s national executive in Agra, was not known.
Mr. Khan, who had shut himself in his official residence on September 11 and 12 when the national executive meeting was held in Agra, remained incommunicado even on Friday. He is said to be down with viral fever.
While Mr. Khan had not made public the reason for his boycott, sources said he was unhappy over the manner in which the Muzaffarnagar riots were handled by the district administration.
Even as the Agra meet was completely overshadowed by the issues related to Mr. Khan’s absence, some senior party leaders were unsparing in their attack on the senior Minister, who is often called the “Muslim face” of the SP.
The party’s national general secretary and national spokesperson, Ram Gopal Yadav, said Mr. Khan should have wither attended the meet or quit his post as the national general secretary.
SP’s other general secretary and former Minister Naresh Agarwal as well as president of the party’s Maharashtra unit Abu Aasim Aazmi reportedly took potshots at Mr. Khan, saying the people had voted for Mulayam Singh.
The CM, himself, downplayed the controversy over Mr. Khan’s absence, saying that Azam Khan could never be angry with him.