» Election » Azam Khan won't go mulayam on Kalyan Singh

Azam Khan won't go mulayam on Kalyan Singh

By Sangita Bakaya in Lucknow
May 05, 2009 11:54 IST
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Scotching rumours that he is quitting the Samajwadi Party, its Muslim face, Azam Khan, has said he is not able to cut off his "emotional bondings" with party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav but made it clear that he will never campaign alongside former BJP leader Kalyan Singh.

Khan said his party should stop banking on Kalyan Singh, whom he accused of being the "destroyer of the Babri mosque".

Refuting speculation about his planning to quit the party, Khan said he was not able to cut off his emotional bondings with Yadav and nor was he able to forget the tough stand adopted by him on October 30, 1990 in the face of challenge posed by the 'karsewaks' in Ayodhya.

The sulking SP leader also expressed regret over any possible setback the party might have suffered at the hustings with him being "inactive".

Khan told PTI that his conscience will not allow him to campaign alongside Kalyan Singh, who was UP's Chief Minister when Babri masjid was razed in 1992.

"The SP needs to develop its own leadership of the Lodha community (to which Kalyan Singh belongs) and I am ready to contribute for the same in any way possible. But I cannot campaign for the party alongside Kalyan Singh," Khan said, adding that Kalyan Singh's coming together with the SP is the most "shameful" and "unfortunate" act.

"People have started questioning as to how the National Security Act (NSA) was imposed against BJP leader Varun Gandhi for making communal remarks while Kalyan Singh is still roaming about freely despite being responsible for pulling down of the mosque.

"Not just Muslims but all secular people are perturbed and frustrated seeing Mulayam Singh, the secular face of Indian politics, hugging the hardcore Hindutva leader Kalyan Singh at election meetings being jointly addressed by them," Khan said.

Indicating that he still has a "soft corner" for the SP chief with whom he has worked for over 25 years to establish the party, Khan said he hoped "good sense will prevail within the party leadership."

Khan has been keeping away from party meetings and functions and maintaining a low profile since he has been feeling "isolated" in the party.

Khan, who is considered influential in Rampur and surrounding areas, has also been accused of campaigning against sitting SP MP from Rampur, Jayaprada.

The SP chief, realising the importance of Khan especially at election time, has been publicly stating that he was making all out efforts to reach out to the Muslim leader. The two had an over five-hour-long meeting on April 19 but party sources maintained that not much was achieved.
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Sangita Bakaya in Lucknow
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