Rampur By-Polls: Congress Expels Nawab Kazim Ali Khan For Supporting BJP Candidate; SP Keen To Save Azam Khan Bastion
For Azam Khan, this by-poll is a question of his prestige.
The BJP, however, wants to continue the momentum it received in Rampur Lok Sabha by-poll victory.
The Uttar Pradesh unit of Congress on Thursday (1 December) expelled former MLA Nawab Kazim Ali Khan aka Naved Mian for supporting the BJP candidate in the Rampur Sadar Assembly by-poll.
Khan had announced support for the BJP candidate Akash Saxena a few days ago. Khan's family had also supported BJP during the Rampur Lok Sabha by-poll held in June this year.
Interestingly, BJP won that election by attracting 6-7 per cent of the vote directly from the Samajwadi Party (SP) and it is believed that the Khan family's support contributed to the party's victory.
It should be noted that in both these elections, the Congress chose not to contest. In such a scenario, it was natural for Kazim Ali Khan to choose BJP's side as he has been opposing Azam Khan politically for long.
Not only himself, but his son Haider Ali Khan has also contested against Azam Khan's son Abdullah in Suar assembly seat in the elections held earlier this year, continuing the family legacy.
Haider Ali Khan contested on Apna Dal ticket which is a BJP ally and hence, the closeness of his family with the BJP should not come as a surprise. However, he lost the election.
Kazim Ali Khan belongs to the royal family of Rampur and is known as the Nawab of Rampur. He has been an MLA from Suar and Bilaspur (both come under Rampur Lok Sabha constituency) five times in total.
But now, he has been expelled for six years for anti-party activities from the Congress. Thus it is likely that he might join BJP or Apna Dal.
He was earlier expelled from the party in 2016 for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections. However, he contested the 2022 assembly election from Rampur seat on a Congress ticket. He could secure a mere 1.82 per cent votes.
The Present Situation
The Rampur assembly seat is going to by-polls on 5 December as sitting MLA Azam Khan was disqualified in a hate speech case.
BJP and SP are making the contest bipolar as Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have decided to stay away, while Suheldev Bharatiya Samajwadi Party's (SBSP) is not expected to make much impact.
For Azam Khan, the seat has become a question of his prestige. While BJP, on the other hand, wants to continue the momentum that it received by winning the June Lok Sabha by-polls.
BJP has secured its own vote bank but that won't be enough to win Rampur. Thus, with some Muslim leaders on its side including Naved Mian, BJP wants to attract some Muslim votes as well. BJP's Pasmanda outreach also seems to be working.
Meanwhile, Azam Khan, who is out on a bail, is going door-to-door, asking for votes for the SP candidate Asim Raza.
He is trying to make an emotional appeal to fight against alleged atrocity meted out to him by the BJP government on the basis of 'false' charges.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav too accused BJP of 'harassing' senior leader Azam Khan through 'fake cases'. He was accompanied by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad during Rampur campaign.
Also read: Uttar Pradesh: How Azam Khan's Absence In Rampur Seat Will Hit Samajwadi Party Hard In By-Polls
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