Unmindful of Governor’s rap, SP backs Azam Khan

Lucknow, March 26 (IANS) The ongoing tussle between Raj Bhavan and Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan took a turn for the worse on Saturday as his Samajwadi Party put its weight behind him.

State parliamentary affairs minister Azam Khan is under fire from Governor Ram Naik for his utterances against him.

State spokesman of the Samajwadi Party and minister Rajendra Chowdhary, in a statement issued on the weekend, said Azam Khan was a senior and valued minister who enjoys the complete confidence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

The party’s affirmation of its faith in Khan is being viewed in political circles here as a rebuff to Naik’s observations against Khan’s ability to continue as the state’s parliamentary affairs minister.

In a letter written to state assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, the governor had slammed the minister for his objectionable language and allegations against him.

The spokesman said the party believed in the politics of values and principles and a political conspiracy was being hatched to defame the party.

The official called Khan “a leader who has emerged out of struggles, who is famous across India, an able leader,and great orator”.

The language and tenor of the statement, political observers feel, would only escalate hostilities and precipitate matters between Raj Bhavan and the state government.

In a reaction, Bharatiya Janata Party’s state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the whole statement of the Samajwadi Party smacked of arrogance and the content was confrontationist. “Rather than defending and eulogizing the minister known for his acerbic tongue, the state government is better advised to restrain him.”

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