UP assembly: Azam Khan skips session for second consecutive day

LUCKNOW: Senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan skipped Uttar Pradesh assembly proceedings for a second day in a row on Tuesday amid speculation of a rift between him and party president Akhilesh Yadav.
Khan, who had taken oath at speaker Satish Mahan’s chamber on Monday, had not attended the proceedings of the house and had left after being sworn in as member of the house even then.
Khan was recently released on bail from Sitapur jail where he was lodged on various charges, including that of land grabbing.
When asked whether Khan will be attending the house, his MLA son Abdullah Azam avoided giving a categorical reply to the media in the morning.
“I am getting delayed for the assembly. You can ask him (Azam) when he comes out,” Abdullah Azam, who had taken oath with his father on Monday, said.
Khan had on Monday evening met Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) founder Shivpal Yadav at his residence and discussed various issues.
PSPL spokesperson Deepak Mishra told PTI, “Yes both the leaders had met on Monday evening.”
He, however, did not divulge details of the meeting.
Sources suggest that Khan wants his lawyer, Kapil Sibal, to be sent to Rajya Sabha on an SP ticket.
However, there is no official confirmation in this regard either from Khan’s side or from any SP leaders.
Akhilesh Yadav’s party that had won 111 seats in the recent state polls can send three members to the Rajya Sabha after 11 of its seats fall vacant from the state by July.
The process of elections for the Rajya Sabha seats began on Tuesday.
Sibal, who is representing Khan in the Supreme Court, was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a Congress ticket from Uttar Pradesh with the help of SP in 2016.
Since the Congress, which had fought the latest state election on its own, could manage to win only two seats, it has no chance to send him or any other leader of the party to the upper house of Parliament.
This is the second meeting between Khan and socialist leader Shivpal Yadav in recent days. Yadav had earlier visited him in Sitapur Jail in March end and had called out SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, as well as Akhilesh Yadav, for not agitating for his release.
The absence of Khan – the 10th term MLA from Rampur Sadar seat – from the ongoing assembly session is generating a lot of speculation about his displeasure with the party president.
Khan has been allocated a seat in the assembly next to Akhilesh Yadav.

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