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SP expels Azam Khan for six years

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Azam Khan
Azam Khan

Atiq Khan

LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh, on Sunday expelled his long-standing party colleague, Mohammad Azam Khan, from the party for six years.

One of the founder-members of the Samajwadi Party and its lone Muslim face, Mr. Khan has been charged with anti-party activities. By showing the door to the rebel, Mr. Mulayam Singh has signalled that in the post-Lok Sabha poll scenario in the State, Amar Singh and Kalyan Singh would be of greater utility to him than Mr. Khan.

Kalyan factor

His opposition to the party’s alliance with the former BJP leader, Mr. Kalyan Singh and Jayaprada’s candidature from Rampur did not go down well with the SP supremo. His opposition to the deal with Mr. Kalyan Singh provided the Muslims with a plausible reason to dump the SP, mostly in favour of the Congress.

Samajwadi Party circles did not miss the Amar Singh factor behind Mr. Khan’s ouster from the party and the influence which the national general secretary allegedly exercised over the decision making process.

No action had taken been by the SP chief against the other party rebels, Beni Prasad Verma and Raj Babbar, who as Samajwadi Party MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha, contested Assembly polls in 2007 as separate entities. Mr. Verma had formed the Samajwadi Kranti Dal and Mr. Babbar had joined the Jan Morcha of the former Prime Minister, V.P. Singh. Both were instrumental in causing a loss of about a dozen seats to the SP in the Assembly elections.

The decision to expel Mr. Khan was conveyed to the media by the president of the party’s State unit, Shivpal Singh, who is also the brother of Mr. Mulayam Singh.

Mr. Khan stepped down as the Deputy Leader of the SP Legislature Party on Sunday. He had last week resigned from the party parliamentary board and as the national general secretary.

More than the opposition to the alliance with Mr. Kalyan Singh, described as the “destroyer of Babri Masjid” by him, it was his running battle with Mr. Amar Singh and Ms. Jayaprada that proved to be Mr. Khan’s undoing.

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