LUCKNOW – Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur assembly seat, which has been represented nine times by senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, has once again come in his fold as his wife and Rajya Sabha member Tazeen Fatima won by the margin of 7,716 votes.
The seat was vacated since Azam Khan was elected to Lok Sabha in May.
This gain came at a time when Khan was implicated in over 80 cases, including 28 of land grabbing, theft, dacoity, among other charges. Khan had addressed several public gatherings in favour of his wife, and also in the past broke down on the stage multiple times while asking for votes.
He also continuously accused the state government of political vendetta in the cases lodged against him. The Congress and BSP gave a ticket to Muslim candidates, giving rise to speculation that it may divide votes, but Fatima comfortably won the seat as she led throughout the day.
Azam Khan has been winning from Rampur constituency since 1980, except once in 1996, when a Congress candidate won from there. Fatima was the best bet for SP as her Rajya Sabha term was coming to an end in November 2020. She was elected to Upper House in 2014. Khan’s son Abdullah Azam is also MLA from Suar assembly seat.
The Rampur seat has more than 52% Muslim and 17% Dalit voters.
Analyst say that the main reason for the BJP’s defeat is the selection of a “weak candidate” Bharat Bhushan Gupta.
“Due to strictness of administration Azam Khan is facing many cases and also he was out of Rampur for quite some time, but still candidate selection could have been key for the BJP. The main reason behind this in my opinion is selection of a weak candidate. BJP’s Gupta had contested on a BSP ticket in 2012 assembly seat, managing merely 16570 votes. During the last panchayat elections, Gupta managed to get just 1623 votes,” veteran journalist and political observer Ratan Mani Lal was quoted by News18 as saying.
Samajwadi Party chief and former CM Akhilesh Yadav had also addressed a public gathering in Rampur in favour of Fatima. Earlier, Akhilesh had visited Rampur and staged a protest against the state government for unnecessarily targeting SP MP from Rampur.