Senior Samajwadi Party leader and MLA Mohammed Azam Khan skipped assembly proceedings on the second day of the Budget session on Tuesday.
Khan is miffed with the party brass and he did not meet SP chief Akhilesh Yadav during his two-day stay in Lucknow. Azam Khan was released from Sitapur District Jail after 27 months following the bail granted by the Supreme Court.
On the first day of the Budget session, Khan and his son Abdullah took oath as members of the Assembly after which Azam left the Assembly citing health reasons. However, his son Abdullah attended the Budget session on both days. Khan meanwhile left for Rampur on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav met Azam Khan at his residence in Lucknow. The meeting between the two lasted for about an hour, but details of the discussion were not made public by either leader.
It’s widely believed in political circles that his relations with Akhilesh Yadav are strained. Khan denied this saying in a sarcastic manner, saying that “he was a person without any base and such speculations were without basis”. Winning the support of Azam Khan is crucial for Samajwadi Party in view of Rajya Sabha elections.
The strength of the SP along with its two allies in the UP Assembly is 125. As of now Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam, Shezil Islam (Bareilly MLA, whose petrol pump was demolished) and Shivpal Yadav, are most unlikely to vote for the SP candidate in the elections for 11 seats of Rajya Sabha on June 10. If only 11 candidates file nomination papers, all will be declared elected unopposed. If a second candidate files papers, a showdown will be imminent and elections will be unavoidable.
The ruling BJP on its strength can win eight Rajya Sabha seats. The SP-led alliance will win three seats if the alliance remains united but the BJP is likely to queer the pitch by fielding a 9th candidate thus forcing voting.