The Samajwadi Party (SP) has expelled senior leader Mohammed Azam Khan from the party for six years amid reports he might join the Congress.
A founding member of the SP, Khan had not been pulling on well with the leadership for a long time and had openly campaigned against the party’s Rampur Lok Sabha candidate Jaya Prada.
Announcing the decision on Sunday, state unit president Shivpal Singh Yadav said Khan had been carrying on anti-party activities for a long time. He said Khan had even stopped attending party meetings.
Khan reacted by saying the SP had been hobnobbing with communal forces in UP and “had become worse than the BJP”. He said the party was controlled by characterless people and a dalal (middleman) who forced some senior leaders to quit the party in the past. He added that Amar Singh had destroyed the SP.
The SP general secretary, for his part, said: “I welcome this decision. It would have been proper and prudent if this decision had been taken much earlier... Level of harm for the party would have been lesser.”
Even before his removal was announced, Khan had resigned from the post of deputy leader of the SP Legislature Party.
With the party taking action against him, he will be able to retain his membership of the assembly as the anti-defection law is applicable only if a member quits a party and not if he or she is expelled.
(With PTI inputs)