A prominent Shia cleric on Monday held UP Minister Azam Khan for the present crisis in SP and accused him of “misguiding” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to pick up a fight with party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and state unit president Shivpal Yadav to create a mistrust in the family and he gets the CM’s post.
“Akhilesh Yadav has been misguided by none other than Azam Khan. It is the wily leader of Rampur who has been leading SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son to tread a path that would lead to disaster. He is a young man with a long future. He should understand Khan’s design and mend fences with his father and uncle,” Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad told reporters in Lucknow.
The Shia cleric, who was here to take part in a religious function, sought to buttress his point by stating “we must recall that a few years ago, when Khan was expelled from SP, he had vowed to destroy the party. He may have been re-inducted, but he is too vindictive to have rekindled his loyalty towards the party. He will do everything to ensure that the party, of which the Yadav family is the backbone, gets ruined.”
He alleged that Khan had shown “no concern” towards the crisis in the party.
“Earlier this year, he had callously called SP a sinking ship. He has done nothing to rescue the ship. He is only ensuring that Akhilesh gets confused and agitated, and the entire family gets plagued by mutual distrust. Khan thinks in such a situation, by default, he will get a chance to enjoy the CM’s post,” Jawwad alleged.
Interestingly, Khan–perceived as the “Muslim face” of the party which has a following among the minority community people in the state–has been at loggerheads with clerics like Jawwad, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid at Delhi and hardline politicians like Hyderabad’s Asaduddin Owaisi.
Without naming Amar Singh, Khan has repeatedly targeted the Rajya Sabha MP for the crisis, referring to him as “one single outsider” responsible for “unfortunate” developments in the party.
His dislike for Singh is said to be shared by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who was snubbed on this count by Mulayam Singh Yadav at a party meeting in Lucknow held earlier in the day. The SP supremo also backed Shivpal, who has recently come out in strong support of Amar Singh.