Azam Khan disqualified from UP Assembly, House secretariat declares seat vacant

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Secretariat on Friday announced the disqualification of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan from the House, a day after a court sentenced him to three years in jail in a hate speech case.
Principal Secretary of the UP Legislative Assembly, Pradeep Dubey told PTI that the assembly secretariat has declared the Rampur Sadar Assembly seat as vacant.
“A vacancy has been declared by the UP Vidhan Sabha Secretariat consequent upon the disqualification due to the judgment passed by the court,” he said.
Dubey said, “We do not disqualify (a sitting member), we only declare vacancy (of the respective seat). Disqualification had already been done by the court order.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in a tweet in Hindi said,
“(We) welcome the decision of Speaker Satish Mahana ji to annul the membership of Vidhan Sabha of Azam Khan. Whenever the bye-elections are held on the vacant seats, the BJP’s lotus will bloom.”
The Rampur MP-MLA court had on Thursday convicted Khan in a 2019 hate speech case and sentenced him to three years of imprisonment.
The Representation of the People Act says that anyone sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more shall be disqualified “from the date of such conviction” and remain disqualified for another six years after serving time in jail.
The Rampur court had granted bail to Khan in the case besides providing him time to file an appeal against sentencing.
The case was registered against Khan in April 2019 for levelling serious allegations against administrative officials posted in Rampur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during an election meeting.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Khan was booked for making inflammatory speeches while addressing a public meeting in Khatanagaria village of the Milak Kotwali area.
A video of Khan’s statement also surfaced on social media. Khan was released from jail earlier this year after the Supreme Court granted him an interim bail in a cheating case. He spent nearly two years in jail.
The SP leader faces nearly 90 cases, including that of corruption and theft.
He had won from the Rampur Sadar Assembly seat in the UP Assembly polls for a record 10th time.
After becoming an MLA, he resigned from the Lok Sabha. In June this year, BJP’s Ghanshyam Lodhi wrested the Rampur parliamentary seat from the Samajwadi Party, defeating his nearest rival by over 42,000 votes in a bypoll.
Lodhi had defeated SP candidate Mohd Asim Raja, considered close to party leader Azam Khan, who had won from the constituency in 2019.
The bypoll was necessitated by the resignation of Azam Khan following his election to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

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