Statesman News Service
Lucknow, 13 September
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday went to the Vikramaditya Marg residence of Samajwadi Party national general secretary and minister for urban development and minority affairs Mr Azam Khan in an apparent bid to pacify and mollify the sulking leader.
The CM was with the minister for over an hour. Details of what transpired between the two was not known as the CM refused to speak on the issue, while departing from Mr Khan&’s residence.
The ‘Azam sulk’ had become news following the minister keeping himself away from the two-day national executive meet held on 12-13 October in Agra. He instead chose to station himself in Lucknow and refused to interact with the media. His close aides cited viral fever as the cause for Azam&’s absence from the meet.
The minister&’s absence from the national executive meet drew a scathing comment from SP national president Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav&’s cousin and national general secretary Prof Ramgopal Yadav. He demanded Azam&’s resignation. Senior leader Mr Naresh Agarwal went a step ahead and said that no one was bigger than the party and that people voted in the name of Mr Mulayam Singh. Mr Abu Azmi of Maharastra dismissed his absence as being inconsequential. The healing touch against this onslaught came from Mulayam himself in Agra. The SP president who had founded the party along with Mr Azam Khan and Mr Beni Prasad Verma in 1992 said that Mr Azam Khan could never be angry with him. There could be some issues which would be solved, he added.
The mercurial leader who is regarded the Muslim face of the SP had been absenting himself from the cabinet meetings lately. It was widely held that he had issues with the government of the day. His sulk and resentment came out in the open when he abstained from attending the Agra meet.