He is reportedly unhappy with the way in which Muzaffarnagar district administration handled the clashes

With Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav facing flak for mishandling the Muzaffarnagar communal violence, senior Samajwadi Party leader and Minority Welfare Minister Mohammad Azam Khan’s absence at the Samajwadi Party’s national executive meeting — which commenced in Agra on Wednesday and is possibly the last before the next general election — was the talking point of the meet’s opening session.

Though why Mr. Khan gave the meet a miss is not known, he is reportedly unhappy with the manner in which the district administration handled the situation in Muzaffarnagar. Mr. Khan, the minister-in-charge of Muzaffarnagar, was reportedly aware of the communal tension that was building up there since August 27.

On Wednesday, the Minister spent the whole day in his residence here and did not attend office. The Hindu tried to contact him, but the staff at his residence said he was unwell and was down with viral fever.

Nonetheless, the Minister’s absence in Agra set tongues wagging, with many taking it as an indication that all is not well between him and the Chief Minister, and possibly with even Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav.

On Tuesday, Mr. Khan did not attend the Cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister, but later in the day made a surprise inspection of the Haj House. This was the eighth consecutive time that he had not attended Cabinet meeting.