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Clocking in on Last Day, Akhilesh Yadav to Campaign for Azam Khan’s Wife in Rampur Amid Heated Contest

File photo of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (PTI photo).

File photo of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (PTI photo).

Rajya Sabha member Tazeen Fatima is contesting the seat after it was vacated when her husband, the former MLA, was elected to the Lok Sabha.

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Qazi Faraz Ahmad

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav will address a public rally in Rampur in favour of party candidate Tazeen Fatima on Saturday, the last day of campaigning for by-polls in Uttar Pradesh. Fatima is the wife of embattled MP Azam Khan.

The SP chief will address a gathering at Qila Maidan at 2:30 pm in Rampur, which has been a stronghold of the SP. Tazeen Fatima is contesting the seat after it was vacated when her husband, the former MLA, was elected to the Lok Sabha. Senior party leaders have also been asked to reach Rampur for the former chief minister's rally.

Fatima was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2014 and her term will end in November 2020.

Yadav will also be seeking the sympathy vote for the Rajya Sabha MP, as Azam Khan has been implicated in over 80 cases, with 28 of land-grabbing, theft and dacoity.

The party president had earlier also visited Rampur to stage a protest against the district administration, claiming that Khan was being falsely implicated by the state government.

The Rampur seat is being considered as the axis for by-polls to 11 assembly seats in the state. Muslim votes are expected to be divided, as the SP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress have joined the contest.

The BSP, contesting from Rampur for the first time, has fielded customs officer Zuber Masood Khan. Arshad Ali Khan has been fielded by the Congress. He had left in 2012 to join the SP, but later returned in 2017.

The BJP has left no stone unturned in order to register its maiden victory. Bharat Bhushan Gupta will be contesting from the party, in hopes of consolidating the Hindu vote bank.

The saffron party has also entrusted deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, ministers Baldev Singh Aulakh and Mahesh Gupta with monitoring the Rampur assembly seat.

Azam Khan, who has also been addressing public gatherings in favour of his wife, in the past broke down on the stage multiple times while asking for votes. He also continuously blamed the state government of political vendetta in the cases lodged against him.


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