A day after the 17-member delegation of ministers and MLAs from UP landed in Lucknow cutting short their five-nation tour, senior minister Azam Khan Tuesday accused media of presenting distorted reports under a “conspiracy by fascist forces” and claimed that they were unfairly targeted as the team was led by a Muslim.
“We did not indulge in debauchery as claimed by the media. I feel ashamed that our visit was painted like this when even women legislators were part of our delegation,” Azam said.
The delegation, including nine ministers, had left on January 9 for a “study tour” of five countries — Dubai, England, Holland, Greece and Turkey — and returned on January 20 instead of January 24 following criticism from opposition parties and the media, which accused them of ignoring the Muzaffarnagar riot victims.
“It was destined, so it happened,” Azam said when asked why the delegation cut short the tour duration. He suggested that India should relinquish its UN and commonwealth membership as the tour was opposed by political parties and the media.
“We had gone there for study. We were invited by the Commonwealth association. But, going by the opposition, I think, India should relinquish its membership from UN and Commonwealth,” he said.
“The delegation was never targeted in the past, but this time a Muslim (Azam) was leading it, so it got undue coverage,” he added.
Strongly objecting to the media’s behaviour, he said, “We were followed by the media…. Even my nose was hit by the camera and I was left bleeding due to them.”