Azam appears at wife Tazeen’s nomination in Rampur, records his statement with SIT
Tazeen Fatima, the Samajwadi Party candidate for the crucial Rampur assembly seat, filed her nomination on Monday in the presence of her family members, including husband and Parliamentarian Mohd Azam Khan against whom 85 cases related to theft and land grabbing have been registered.
Before filing her papers, Tazeen, whose Rajya Sabha term comes to an end in October 2019, cleared her electricity dues and the fine of Rs 30 lakh slapped on the family-owned ‘Humsafar’ resort in Rampur by the power department. Candidates are required to furnish a no-dues certificate before filing their nomination.
All eyes, however, were on Azam Khan, who accompanied by son and SP MLA from the neighbouring Suar assembly seat Abdullah Azam, made his first public appearance since August 12 when he last visited Rampur to attend Eid celebrations.
Monday was the last day of filing nominations. An alumna of the Aligarh Muslim University, Tazeen is pitted against Bharat Bhushan Gupta of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who also filed his nomination on the same day, Arshad Ali of the Congress and Zubair Masood Khan of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
The Rampur assembly seat fell vacant after Khan was elected to the Lok Sabha in the Parliamentary polls held in April-May 2019.
From the collectorate, Azam, Tazeen and Abdullah went straight to the mahila police station. There, Azam recorded his statement in 26 cases of land grabbing against him that are being investigated by a special investigation team (SIT) on the complaints of farmers.
After coming out of the police station, where he stayed for 45 minutes, Khan, who has been declared a ‘land mafia’ by the Uttar Pradesh Government, said he would need more time to reply to the charges against him.
“Given the long list of charges, I will need at least four days to respond to each and every one of them,” he said, adding that he was being targeted because he managed to win from Rampur even though the entire government machinery worked against him.
“I can understand their (administration’s) vindictive behaviour towards me, my family members and supporters. But so blinded by haste were these officers in carrying out their political masters’ order that they did not spare even my dead mother and booked her too in a fake case,” he said, while addressing a gathering of workers at the party office later in the day.
Bypolls will be held in 10 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, including Rampur, on October 21.