As the elections in Uttar Pradesh and five other states approach, political parties are rushing to comply with the Election Commission’s directives. In a move on the same lines, Samajwadi Party has shared criminal records of Azam Khan, his wife Tanzeen Fatma, and their son Abdullah Azam Khan.
The Samajwadi Party recently declared that imprisoned Samajwadi Party MP Azam Khan would run in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly election from his hometown of Rampur. Khan is the current Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Rampur. He has been jailed at Sitapur since February 2020. The Rampur candidate of the Samajwadi Party has been the subject of 87 criminal complaints.
The majority of the cases against Azam Khan are related to Indian Penal Code sections 153 (A) (Promoting hatred between various groups on religious grounds), 159 (Word, gesture, or activities intended to offend a woman’s modesty), 509 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 448 (house tress pass), and 500. (defamation). Azam Khan has also been charged with electoral fraud. He has been charged under Section 171 G in multiple cases (False statement in connection with an election).
The party has called Azam an asset because he has been a member of the assembly 9 times and is the founding member of the Samajwadi Party. The notice issued by SP mentions that all the cases against him have been based on false allegations and hold a political intent.
The Samajwadi Party has also announced Abdullah Azam, Azam Khan’s son who was imprisoned for two years before being released on bail this month, as its candidate for the nearby Suar constituency. Abdullah has 43 cases filed against him. He ran as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Suar in the 2017 Assembly election and won. In December 2019, the Allahabad High Court overturned his win, citing the fact that he was under the age of 25 when he submitted his candidature with forged documents.
SP also wants to nominate Azam Khan’s wife, Dr Tazeen Fatma, who is currently out on bail and facing 35 court cases.
In accordance with the directions given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Order dated 13.02.2020, and in addition to the Commission’s earlier instructions dated 10th October 2018, the Election Commission has directed that all political parties that field candidates with criminal antecedents, shall follow the directives under the above-mentioned order. Information of Individuals with criminal antecedents who have been selected as candidates, as well as the reasons for such selection and why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates, shall be published by the political party in newspapers, social media platforms, and on the party’s website.