Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday came out in support of Azam Khan, accusing the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh of political vendetta by lodging land grab cases against the senior party leader.
Addressing his first press conference here in months, the SP founder said Azam Khan has been facing “injustice” and party workers will launch a protest against it.
Yadav said he could take the issue to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I have not thought about it but, if needed, I will meet the prime minister to convey to him the injustice meted out to Azam Khan,” the SP leader said, replying to a question.
The controversial Lok Sabha MP from Rampur and members of his family are facing several cases, most of them related to allegations of grabbing land. Authorities have claimed that the gate of his Mohammad Ali Jauhar University is being built on government land.
“Injustice is being meted out to Azam Khan and SP workers will launch a protest against it. They will hit the streets and I will also stand with them,” Yadav said.
“Over 80 cases have been lodged against Azam Khan and thousands of cases against the Samajwadi Party. I have never seen such a terrible face of political vendetta,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
Azam Khan has linked the action against Jauhar University founded by him to the upcoming assembly bypolls in the state.
“There is an attempt to destroy the university created by him by begging (money) and donations. He created it by spending money he had earned over his entire life, and he also sold the house he got under the MLAs’ quota. He still lives in a small lane in Rampur,” Yadav said.
Asked about the cases against Azam Khan, he said someone who had purchased hundreds of bighas of land would not commit dishonesty for a couple of bighas.
“For only two bighas of land purchased 13-15 years ago, 27 cases were lodged against him on serious charges,” the SP patron claimed.
“The said land is outside the university and civil cases were changed to criminal cases,” he alleged.
He asked how Khan, who fought for rights of poor, could be anti-poor.
Yadav alleged that the Rampur MP’s 75-year-old sister was dragged to the police station and subjected to “inhuman treatment”.
“When her condition deteriorated she was dumped at her home again. Her only fault is that she is the treasure of the university. Due to this behaviour, she is battling for her life in hospital,” he alleged.
Yadav said the Bharatiya Janata Party carries out Khan‘s “character assassination” as it is afraid of him. “He is a national leader and the entire party is behind him,” he added.