For the first time in four decades, Rampur and SP strongman Azam Khan finds himself disqualified and without a seat in the House. The Yogi regime is now hot on his trail
Azam Khan (centre) with son Abdullah Azam and supporters in Rampur; (Photo: Maneesh Agnihotri)
Azam Khan was unusually quiet as he and his supporters waited at the MP-MLA court complex in Moradabad on February 13. The usually belligerent general secretary of the Samajwadi Party (SP) was waiting for a verdict on a case from way back in 2008, when he and his supporters had created a ruckus at the Chhajlet police station in Moradabad district. On New Year’s Day in 2008, there had been a terrorist attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in Rampur (incidentally Azam’s home district) after which a high alert had been declared in the whole state. The next day, Azam’s convoy was on its way to a marriage when it was stopped for vehicle checks in Chhajlet. An enraged Azam and his supporters ended up blocking the highway for several hours. The police had then registered a case against nine people, including Azam and his younger son Abdullah Azam.