Amar, Azam face-off reaches flash point | india | Hindustan Times
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Amar, Azam face-off reaches flash point

The bad vibes between SP general secretaries Amar Singh and Azam Khan caught on with the two leaders' supporters who clashed in Rampur on Friday. M. Hasan and S. Raju report.

india Updated: May 09, 2009 01:21 IST
M. Hasan and S. Raju

The bad vibes between SP general secretaries Amar Singh (53) and Azam Khan (60) caught on with the two leaders' supporters who clashed in Rampur on Friday.

Khan’s men first attacked SP's Rampur candidate Jayaprada's convoy. Then they pelted stones on the car of SP's Mumbai unit president Abu Azmi (54), who was campaigning for the 47-year-old actress-turned-politician and sitting Rajya Sabha MP.

Singh and Khan are locked in a bitter battle over Jayaprada's nomination. Singh is backing Jayaprada and is working extensively to ensure the former Bollywood star's victory in the election. Khan, on the other hand, has opposed her candidature and has vowed to pull the rug from under her feet. He said, "She was a good actress and a dancer but that does not necessarily make her a good MP.”

The Amar-Azam war has been going on for two months. It intensified last Thursday when Singh publicly denounced Khan at a rally in Dhakia.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had intervened and got the situation under control. On Friday, Singh said, “Azam Khan is a favourite of Mulayam Singhji. In spite of Khan’s intolerable utterances against me, I was silent. There is a limit to how much one can bear.”

“Khan has been trying to create problems for us. Enough is enough. The leadership should immediately take action against him,” Azmi said.

However, Khan declined the charges and told Hindustan Times over phone, "Criminals and mafia from Mumbai and Purvanchal have gathered in Rampur. They are least bothered about the rich culture and tradition of the city. They walk into Muslim houses without caring about the women within. The brewing anger of the people, who want to keep their pride and respect intact, culminated in Friday's attack."

Shocked at the violent tussle between party workers, Yadav told off Khan and warned him of disciplinary action after polling on May 13. The 70-year-old SP boss would arrive in Rampur on Saturday to deal with the situation himself.