Azam Khan quits as SP general secretary (Lead)

May 17th, 2009 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Rampur (Uttar Pradesh), May 17 (IANS) Disgruntled Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan Sunday resigned as the party general secretary as well as parliamentary board member over the SP’s “closeness to communal forces”.
Meanwhile, another general secretary Amar Singh, who has had a running feud with him, said Khan’s error was that he aired his views in public.

Khan, addressing reporters in Rampur a day after film star-turned-politician Jaya Prada, whose party candidature he opposed bitterly, won the Rampur seat, said he had sent the resignations to party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

“The Samajwadi Party leaders’ closeness with communal forces has prompted me to take the step. However, I will continue to work with the Samajwadi Party like any ordinary party worker,” he said.

Khan attributed the party’s poor performance in Uttar Pradesh (23 seats) to Mulayam Singh’s friendship with Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh during the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition.

In Delhi, Amar Singh said that he “forgave” Azam Khan, with whom he had publicly clashed. Khan had been unhappy with Amar Singh helping the Jaya Prada campaign.

“Azam Khan has done a lot for the party in the past, to build its base, which cannot be forgotten. His main error was to air his views publicly, what he should have done within the party structure,” said Amar Singh.

He added that Azam Khan was like his “elder brother” and that he “forgave him”.

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