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Rampur Sadar Bypoll: Cong expels former MLA for supporting BJP candidate

Sources said that Nawab is likely to switch his loyalties to the BJP or its alliance partner Apna Dal.

Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, member Legislative Assembly, government of Uttar Pradesh, and a rival of Azam Khan, at his residence in New Delhi. (Express photo)

The Congress has expelled former MLA Nawab Kazim Ali Khan for six years on charges of “extreme indiscipline”, a week after he announced support to the BJP candidate for the Rampur assembly bypolls, Akash Saxena.

Nawab, a former MLA from the neigbouring assembly constituency of Suar whose family has had several property disputes as well as a political feud with veteran Samajwadi Party Azam Khan, has also changed parties to strengthen his prospects against the former state cabinet minister.

His decision to support the BJP nominee now comes at a time when the state government has initiated action against alleged encroachments in Rampur, including a controversy surrounding Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, a dream project of Azam.

The SP has fielded Asim Raza after the Rampur assembly seat fell vacant with the disqualification of Azam as MLA over his conviction in a case.

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The rivalry between the families of Nawab and Azam runs from the days of Nawab’s mother Begum Noor Bano, a veteran Congress leader. In the recent Assembly polls in the state, Nawab’s son Haider Ali Khan contested as a candidate of the Apna Dal, a BJP alliance partner, against Azam’s son Abdullah Azam from the Suar seat. This despite the fact that Nawab himself contested as a Congress candidate against Azam from Rampur. Haider, who was the sole Muslim candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Uttar Pradesh polls, changed sides from the Congress even as the party had declared him a candidate.

However, both father and son lost from their seats.

Sources said that Nawab is likely to switch his loyalties to the BJP or its alliance partner Apna Dal.

This is not for the first time that he is supporting a BJP candidate in Rampur. During the Rampur Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, he offered support to the BJP candidate and then apologised to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying he did so since his party decided not to contest the polls.

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In a letter to Nawab, former Congress MLA and Congress disciplinary committee member Shyam Kishore Shukla said, “It has come to the knowledge of the committee that you extended support to the BJP candidate.”

He was told that the act “comes under extreme indiscipline” and therefore he was expelled for six years with an immediate effect, Shukla said.

Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said, “He (Khan) had earlier announced support to the BJP candidate during Lok Sabha bypolls in Rampur but when the party asked him, he said that his statement was twisted. But now, he has again repeated the same thing and therefore the party decided to expel him.”

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The Congress is not contesting the bypolls that from the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat and the Assembly segments of Rampur and Khatauli.

First published on: 02-12-2022 at 07:39 IST
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