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Why SP's most recognisable Muslim face is upset

April 10, 2009 11:30 IST

Amid efforts by Samajwadi Party chief Mulyam Singh Yadav to end intra-party tussle, senior leader Azam Khan on Friday spoke of differences he has with Amar Singh for bringing Kalyan Singh closer to the party.

Khan, SP's most recognisable Muslim face, said he had no issue with Amar Singh except that of joining hands with Kalyan Singh, who was Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at the time of Babri Masjid demolition.

This is "the real issue confronting the Muslim community in the state," he said, adding Muslims of the country could not forget the Babri Masjid demolition.

Khan said Kalyan was being given "secular" certificate and portrayed as an "acceptable" face by hiring poor Muslims and making them raise slogans in praise of the former BJP leader".

"Poor Muslims are being hired to hail Kalyan and common Muslims are taking note of it and feeling hurt about it," Khan said.

Asked if he had any demands from the party, Khan said "We have given our demand to Mulayam Singh and I will not spell out what is this demand."

Khan claimed his rivals were raking up the issue of Rampur Lok Sabha seat to "discredit" him and Muslim leaders of the party.

Khan alleged his rivals within the party had disrupted a meeting organised by him in Kanpur and also were spreading rumours against him to insult him.

He claimed Jaya Prada's renomination from Rampur, once his pocketborough, was not a problem.

"It is not an issue (Rampur seat). I don't want to contest LS polls till I start my Muslim university (Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar University) in Rampur. All this talk about other issues is to divert attention from the main issue of Kalyan Singh," Khan said in Rampur.

At the same time, he charged Jaya Prada with allegedly "humiliating" him.

"She (Jaya Prada) calls me her brother. But she misses no chance to insult, humiliate and back stab me. She claimed I had said something against her mother. I did not say anything," he said.

Asked if the internal tussle in SP would have any impact on Lok Sabha election results, Khan said he could not guess as he had not been touring the state or campaigning.

Ajit K Dubey in Rampur
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