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I am unable to understand what happened in UP, we are stunned: Azam Khan

I think till responsible people of both parties do not sit together and deeply introspect, we will not be able to say so.

, ET Bureau|
May 28, 2019, 09.30 AM IST
If I had lost, this government would have uprooted my foundations, says Khan.
Samajwadi Party leader and newly-elected Rampur MP, Azam Khan tells ET that the SP-BSP alliance will stay for the 2022 elections and the Samajwadi Party will bounce back. Excerpts:

What went wrong in UP for the alliance?
Khan: I am unable to understand what happened… kuch baat samajh mein nahi aati, kya hua kuch akal kaam nahi kar rahi hai (my brain is unable to comprehend this). Did a change come in the mind of the voters so silently, that they all changed camp? This has never happened before. Neither was there any atmosphere in BJP’s favour in UP nor any public wave. Simply, we are stunned.

BSP was along with you. Did the BSP vote not transfer to Samajwadi Party?
Khan: I think till responsible people of both parties do not sit together and deeply introspect, we will not be able to say so. There is no caste combination in an election; it is always a vote combination. There are some seats we lost only by 15000-20000 votes, we lost some seats that conventionally we should have won.

Mulayam Singh Yadav was against this alliance…what is SP-BSP future now?
Khan: We are a big party and we have faced a setback. But you see we earlier had five seats too and now we are 5 seats as well. BSP has gone up to 10 seats. We have an alliance and that will stay for the 2022 state elections – there is no reason it should break. There were no differences between Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, both worked very hard and there was no dispute even in seat distribution. Both leaders helped each other in equal measure. Honestly, I did not even initially expect that the alliance will run with such good relations. Both leaders have made an honest effort to run the alliance. I have told Akhilesh that in this tough moment, I am with you. We will fight back. Rehna hoga tabiyat ko kalap sang roz, bahalte bahalte behal jayegi (things will only get better now)

In the end, people seem to have voted for a strong leader in Modi?
Khan: There is a new thinking that this is a strong countryman and that is a weak countryman; that this Hindustani is a vafadar (patriot) and that Hindustani is a gaddar (traitor). This thinking will neither strengthen our democracy no the country. If you want to subjugate the weaker sections, toh unhe dabate rahiye.

You did win you own seat, Rampur, despite lots of controversies…
Khan: Two governments were against me. Whole media, the film industry, Thakur Sahib (Amar Singh) and the district administration – all were against me. Even in this scenario, how a weak and poor person like me managed to survive and win, only I know. If I had lost, this government would have uprooted my foundations.

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