Rampur Assembly bypoll: No member of Azam Khan's family in fray for first time in over four decades
After Azam Khan's disqualification from the UP assembly in a hate speech case, Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded his close aide Asim Raja in the crucial Rampur by-election.
Rampur (UP): The Rampur Sadar Assembly by-poll will be held on December 5 after Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's disqualification from the UP assembly in a hate speech case. In his absence, SP has fielded Khan's close aide Asim Raja in the crucial by-election. Raja had earlier this year contested the Rampur parliamentary bypoll as SP candidate but lost to BJP's Ghanshyam Lodhi. The parliamentary bypoll was held after Khan, who had won the seat in 2019, vacated it after being elected to the state assembly. For the first time since 1977, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan or a member of his family is not in the fray for election to the Rampur assembly seat. The Samajwadi Party did not field Azam Khan`s wife Tanzeen Fatima or his daughter-in-law and gave a ticket to his loyalist Asim Raza.
Azam Khan or a member of his family have fought from the seat continuously since 1977. Khan has contested 12 assembly elections from 1977 to 2022 from the seat of which he has won ten times and lost twice. In the by-election held after Azam Khan became a Member of Parliament in 2019, his wife Tazeen Fatma contested and won. Asim Raja will now try his luck in the by-election.
Between 1980 and 1993, Khan won five assembly elections consecutively but lost the 1996 election to Congress`s Afroz Ali Khan. Azam Khan was sent to Rajya Sabha. Later he consecutively won five elections between 2002 and 2022.
SP's Asim Raja files nomination for Rampur bypoll
Samajwadi Party candidate Asim Raja on Thursday filed his nomination for the by-poll to the Rampur assembly seat in the presence of senior party leader Azam Khan. Earlier in the day, Khan addressed a public meeting at the party office in Rampur and recalled how he had been standing with his people in the past 45 years.
Addressing the meeting, Khan referred to the parliamentary bypoll held in June and said "we lost but it was not our fault". "Did the election actually take place? If this is how things happen, then there is no need to call it (election) a festival of democracy," Khan said.
He, however, exuded confidence that his party will win the bypoll to Rampur assembly seat.
Recalling his long public life, Khan said, "I have never taken the name of my enemy in a disrespectful manner. The person who has led you for 45 years, the person who has stayed with you, shared your tears for 45 years, see how his name is being taken."
(With agency inputs)