iconimg Wednesday, July 08, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Lucknow, December 29, 2013
Sacked Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Farooqui on Sunday gave clear hints about joining the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and signs emerged that the rookie outfit was ready to welcome him.

Farooqui, whom the SP removed as its national secretary in September following his controversial comment on the arrest of India Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal, met Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence.

“We spoke about minorities’ issues including the education problem in Delhi,” said Farooqui, adding that he would announce his decision on joining the AAP on Monday. 

During a debate on a news channel following Bhatkal’s arrest in August, Farooqui had said, “Is this arrest based on crime or religion? If he is a terrorist, then he should not be spared but if he has been arrested just because he is a Muslim, then caution should be exercised as we don’t want to send a wrong message to the entire community.”

Farooqui, a chartered accountant, was in the Congress, but had joined the SP in June 2011.

A senior executive committee member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and also member of All India Milli Council, he was the SP’s Muslim face in Delhi.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh said discussions about "Farooqui joining the party is on".

Singh said there were several good people in political parties and Kejriwal had already invited them to join the AAP.

Farooqui, who hails from Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh, has settled in Delhi, but could still prove useful for the AAP, especially when it is discussing the possibility of contesting all 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014.

An AIMPLB member said, “He may not be of any use for the SP, but for the AAP, where there is a paucity of known Muslim faces, he could be useful.”

(With inputs from Agencies)