Moradabad: For the first time since 1977, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan or a member of his family is not in fray for election to Rampur assembly seat. Polling will be held on the seat on November 5 in a bypoll after it fell vacant following Azam Khan’s disqualification over conviction in hate speech case.
The Samajwadi Party did not field Azam Khan’s wife Tanzeen Fatima or his daughter-in-law and gave ticket to his loyalist Asim Raza. Azam Khan or a member of his family have fought from the seat continuously since 1977.
Khan has contested 12 assembly elections from 1977 to 2022 from the seat of which he has won ten times and lost twice.
In the by-election held after Azam Khan became a Member of Parliament in 2019, his wife Tazeen Fatma contested and won. Now Asim Raja will now try his luck in the by-election.
Congress was a strong force in the seat in the seventies and eighties. Between 1980 and 1993, Khan won five assembly elections consecutively but lost the 1996 election to Congress’s Afroz Ali Khan. Azam Khan was sent to Rajya Sabha. Later he consecutively won five elections between 2002 and 2022.
Azam Khan and his family have faced legal cases. A First Information Report was lodged against Azam Khan’s wife and his son a case of an alleged conspiracy to grab government land in 2014 when he was minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government.
Khan has been disqualified from his assembly seat after a local court sentenced him to three years in jail in a hate speech case.
BJP has once again declared Akash Saxena, who has contested from the seat in the past, as its candidate for the Rampur bypoll. Saxena lost to Khan earlier this year from the Rampur Sadar seat. The votes will be counted on December 8.