Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan said on Friday that it was his own people who “contributed to his destruction” and he prayed that good sense prevailed in them.
Addressing a press conference in Rampur, the 10-time MLA, who walked out of the Sitapur jail a day after the Supreme Court granted him interim bail, said, “The BJP, BSP or the Congress are not a big question for me at this time. Thousands of cases have been lodged against me, my family and my people. I can only say that I have a role in my destruction and my own people contributed to it.”
He thanked the courts for “ensuring justice” in granting him bail. “When I was in a video conference in jail, I told the judge sahab that he had the powers delegated from the one in the sky. And how you must use those powers is something you will decide. The powers delegated to the Supreme Court from God have been used correctly. Long live the Supreme Court.”
Whether SP president Akhilesh Yadav “backstabbed” him or didn’t lend extend enough support to a senior leader like him, Khan said, “My destruction was caused by me. Who were the people who got cases lodged against me? Initially, eight cases were lodged against me and they said that I took away their land forcefully. Those eight people were paid by cheques by me.”
He added, “I was never a politician. If I were one, I wouldn’t have been able to do so many things like building a university and a school for children. The Jauhar University is a not-for-profit organisation. I am its chancellor. We give it money, and don’t take a salary.”
“I am someone who has been listed as number one on the mafia list. Then come names of Ansari (Mukhtar) and Atiq Ahmad. There is not even a case of causing hurt against me. When I got bail, the judge wondered as how a person against whom there is no evidence was kept in jail for two years,” Azam said.
The SP MLA, however, didn’t share details on what his future course of action will be.
He claimed that a police official who recorded his statement in jail said that when he returned to Rampur he should be careful as he could be killed in an encounter for having so many cases against him. “When I can get a threat like this in jail, then it becomes difficult to see who is my own and who isn’t.”
Talking of his experience of getting Covid-19 during the second wave, Azam said, “I had such severe infection. I was the only one who was left alive in the whole hospital, while bodies were being moved around.”
Whether he will be more subdued in the coming time, he said, “I didn’t struggle for 40 years to own gold and silver. I don’t have a bungalow. When ED officials came to interrogate me in jail, they asked me where all I had properties and bank accounts abroad. I just told them that felt embarrassed of where I was born.” The SP leader said he will never sell his “integrity, country and community”. “I am thankful to those who did whatever for me, and those who didn’t. Who did what is well known,” said Azam. As why he didn’t meet the SP delegation in prison, he said, “I was unwell.”
About the Gyanvapi and Mathura mosque issues and their “similarities with the Babri episode”, he said, “There is some difference. The Babri cases and movement lasted very long… But the cases involving the mosques you are talking about have reached the Supreme Court in a few days. At this point no one should give their opinion as it can ruin the atmosphere in the country and people’s confidence in the justice system will be shaken.”