Former Samajwadi Party veteran Azam Khan on Wednesday said he would consider the SP’s invitation to return to the party if it apologises to Muslims and secular Hindus for letting them down.
While expelling Amar Singh and Jaya Prada on Tuesday, the SP made overtures to one of its three founding fathers, Azam Khan, to rejoin the party.
Khan had left the party in November 2008 when SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav started hobnobbing with former BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh during whose term the Babri Masjid was destroyed in December 1992.
Khan, who described himself as a “rebel”, called Amar Singh a “traitor” who had “gobbled up” party stalwarts such as Beni Prasad Verma, Raj Babbar, C.P. Rai, Shafiq-ur-Rehman Barq, Saleem Sherwani and Dhani Ram Verma. Khan said he was Amar Singh’s “last prey”.
In an interview to Hindustan Times, Khan, the first national general secretary of the party founded in May 1992, said: “The party threw out Sakshi Maharaj, Kalyan Singh and Amar Singh not as an apology to its once-loyal voters and supporters but because it realised the damage these people had caused the party. The party should not hesitate in saying sorry to its supporters and voters.”
“Things for Amar Singh were hunky dory until he touched Ram Gopal Yadav (Mulayam’s cousin),” Khan said.
Calling Amar Singh nouveau riche, Khan said, “There was no comparison between him and me. He became rich in front of my eyes, entered the party and eventually became the eyes and ears of Mulayam. He tried to divide the Yadav clan. He even tried to create a rift between the father and son (Mulayam and Akhilesh) by praising Akhilesh when Ram Gopal began attacking Amar. He divided the Ambani brothers. But Ram Gopal became his nemesis.”
Khan said he had a “very cordial relationship” with Mulayam and admired him. “But I was shocked when Sakshi Maharaj was inducted into the party and his name was proposed for Rajya Sabha membership. When I learnt about this and protested, Mulayam said I was bullying him,” he said.
“Then, Mulayam asked me to quit the party. I asked him to bring in a resolution to expel me but Janeshwar Mishra intervened after confronting Mulayam. Amar Singh, too, raised his voice in my favour. Things settled down.
Sakshi Maharaj was ousted within six months of his entry. Kalyan and Amar have been thrown out now,” Khan added.
Explaining why he left the party, Khan said the reason was Mulayam’s proximity to Kalyan Singh.