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Akhilesh breaks ice with Azam Khan; Rampur-Azamgarh quid pro quo?

June 01, 2022 19:34 IST

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday met senior party leader Azam Khan at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, a meeting that came amid speculations of a rift between both leaders.

IMAGE: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav meets party MLA Azam Khan at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, June 1, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo

The meeting lasted for nearly two and a half hours and according to sources, both leaders discussed the bypolls to the Rampur Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Khan after he was elected to the Uttar Pradesh assembly earlier this year.


The meeting between both leaders took place after a long time, with Khan's close associates earlier accusing Yadav of ignoring the senior party leader when he was lodged in the UP's Sitapur jail. 

Khan was granted bail by the Supreme Court last month after he spent over two years in the jail.

The senior leader was admitted to the medicine department of the Delhi hospital on Sunday for a routine check-up.

"Akhilesh Yadav visited the hospital and met Azam Khan, who is admitted to the facility," a hospital source said.

Khan's condition is "perfectly stable", hospital sources said.

In a tweet, Yadav said, "Praying for good health...get well soon."

Yadav met the senior leader for the first time after visiting him in the Sitapur jail in the initial days of his imprisonment in 2020.

The SP supremo not visiting Khan was resented by the senior leader's supporters, leading to speculation that all is not well between both leaders.

Senior socialist leader Shivpal Singh Yadav after meeting Khan in the Sitapur jail had targeted Akhilesh Yadav as well as party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav for leaving the senior leader in the lurch.

Wednesday's meeting between Yadav and Khan is seen against the backdrop of the bypolls to the Rampur Lok Sabha seat on June 23.

Along with Rampur, bypolls are scheduled to be held for the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat vacated by Yadav after he was elected to the state assembly.

Though there is no official word from the Samajwadi Party on candidates for the two seats, speculation is rife that Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav could be fielded from Azamgarh while Khan would pick a nominee in his Rampur bastion. 

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