To woo Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh, the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has extended an olive branch to Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA from Rampur Azam Khan, asking him to switch over.
The move comes amid news of resentment among Muslims against the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP. SP MP from Sambhal Shafiq Ur Rehman Barq and Azam Khan’s close aide Fasahat Ali Shanu recently alleged that the SP was not working for Muslims.
Earlier, Barq had said he was not satisfied with the working of the party. A few days ago, media in-charge and Khan’s close aide Shanu also alleged that Khan was being ignored by the SP chief.
Sensing an opportunity, AIMIM spokesperson Mohammad Farhan has sent a three-page letter to Khan, who is currently lodged in Sitapur jail.
The AIMIM spokesperson, in his letter, has alleged that the SP was not at sympathetic towards Muslims and treats them only as a vote bank.
AIMIM spokesperson Mohammad Farhan said, “The way SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has been ignoring Azam Khan is concerning. Since Khan has gone back to Sitapur jail after his treatment at Medanta, people from across the country have been coming to see him. But Yadav has not visited him even once, leaving him to die in Sitapur jail. Around 96% Muslims voted for the SP in the recent elections, but Yadav didn’t thank them even once.”
“The AIMIM and Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi Saab wants Azam Khan to return to his fold, this (AIMIM) is his party and his home. He should come back to his party, strengthen it further and take the party ahead in the state. I have written a three-page letter to Khan. Owaisi will also go to meet Khan in Sitapur jail, we have sought time. Before anything else, we pray for his release from jail,” said the AIMIM spokesperson.
Several Muslim leaders from the SP have raised their voices against Akhilesh Yadav and the party for ignoring Muslims even after receiving a majority of votes from the community in the recently held state assembly elections. The invite to Khan is being seen as AIMIM’s attempt to strengthen its grip over Uttar Pradesh by luring dissenting Muslim leaders from the SP.