Unhappy Azam Khan quits as SP general secretary (Second Lead)

May 17th, 2009 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi/Rampur (Uttar Pradesh), May 17 (IANS) Capping weeks of discontent with the party, especially over its association with Kalyan Singh, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan Sunday resigned as the party general secretary as well as parliamentary board member citing the SP’s “closeness to communal forces”.
He, however, declined to say if he is joining the Congress.

Addressing reporters in Rampur a day after film star-turned-politician Jaya Prada, whose party candidature he opposed bitterly, won the Rampur seat, Khan said: “Samajwadi Party leaders’ closeness to communal forces has prompted me to take the step. However, I will continue to work with the party like any ordinary worker.”

Khan attributed the party’s “poor performance” in Uttar Pradesh to the friendship of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav with rebel Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister when the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992. “The fact that none of the Muslim candidates fielded by SP won in this election, reflects that anger of Muslim voters against the friendship of Kalyan and Mulayam Singh.

“Mulayam Singh has hurt me,” Khan, a founder member of the SP and seen as the party’s Muslim face, said.

Khan hoisted the banner of revolt against Mulayam Singh for his bonhomie with Kalyan Singh as well as over the candidature of Jaya Prada for the Rampur seat.

Khan was having a major dispute with another party general secretary Amar Singh over Jaya Prada’s candidature. While Amar Singh always backed her, Khan and his supporters campaigned against her.

Launching a scathing attack on Jaya Prada, who has won the seat, Khan accused her of distributing money to lure voters in Rampur.

“Jaya Prada had spent oodles of money to lure voters in Rampur. To malign my image, she (Jaya Prada) along with other party workers alleged that I circulated obscene posters and CDs of her,” Khan alleged and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry in both cases.

“The winning candidate from Rampur had spent nearly Rs.500 crore to lure voters. I will write to the union government for conducting a CBI inquiry.”

Though Khan ruled out the possibility of joining the Congress party, he declined to divulge his future strategy. “When the proper time comes, I will tell you about my strategy,” he said.

Asked whether had has forgiven Amar Singh, Khan replied: “I am an honest party worker who is dedicated to secularism.”

In Delhi, Amar Singh said he had “forgiven” Azam Khan, with whom he had publicly clashed.

“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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