Shivpal Singh Yadav: Azam Khan, Shivpal Singh Yadav avoid before the meeting of SP MLAs

Veteran SP MLA Azam Khan and mourning socialist leader Shivpal Singh Yadav have avoided a meeting of party MLAs ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly session on Sunday.

Shivpal had earlier avoided a meeting of party MLAs amid differences with his nephew and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav. Shivpal split with Akhilesh in the 2017 assembly elections and formed his own party, the Progressive Socialist Party-Lohia.

He did, however, contest the symbol of the Samajwadi Party in this year’s Assembly elections.

Azam Khan, who was released on bail by the Supreme Court in a fraud case at Sitapur jail on Friday, did not attend the meeting due to health reasons, according to a party leader.

However, Khan was seen meeting his son Abdullah Azam and his supporters at the Rampur District Jail in various cases.

Earlier, Khan’s close associates accused the party chief of ignoring him and the Muslim community, sparking speculation of a rift within the party.

Rumors about Azam Khan’s dissatisfaction with the Samajwadi Party leadership were heightened when he did not meet Ravidas Mehrotra, MLA of the jailed party, but met Congress leader Promod Krishnam a day later.

“Both Azam Khan and his son Abdullah will attend the session tomorrow. Azam will sit to the left of Akhilesh Yadav and raise issues,” Rabidas Mehrotra said on Sunday, adding that the senior leader could not attend the meeting due to health reasons.

He said Khan would first take oath and then attend the assembly session on Monday.

Regarding Shivpal’s absence, Mehrotra said, “Although he has won the SP election symbol, he is the head of a party. He has not attended any meeting before.”

At the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav gave tips to party MLAs and asked them to raise issues of public interest.

“The party chief has asked us to raise issues of public interest with the information. We have to play the role of a strong opposition party. Since it will be a budget session, our party will strongly highlight the issues facing the common man,” SP leader Rajpal Kashyap said.

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