Shivpal had earlier too skipped the party MLAs’ meeting amid differences with his nephew and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav. Shivpal had parted ways with Akhilesh in 2017 Assembly polls and had formed his own outfit, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia.
He, however, contested this year’s Assembly polls on the Samajwadi Party symbol.
Azam Khan, who was released for the Sitapur jail on Friday after the Supreme Court granted him bail in a cheating case, didn’t attend the meeting due to health reasons, according to a party leader.
However, Khan was seen visiting the district jail in Rampur with his son Abdullah Azam to meet his supporters lodged there in various cases.
Earlier, people close to Khan had accused the party chief of ignoring him and the Muslim community, sparking speculations of a rift in the party.
Rumours about Azam Khan’s unhappiness with the Samajwadi Party leadership were bolstered when he did not meet party MLA Ravidas Mehrotra in jail but a day later met Congress leader Pramod Krishnam there.
“Both Azam Khan and his son Abdullah will be attending the session tomorrow. Azam will sit on left of Akhilesh Yadav and raise issues,” Ravidas Mehrotra said on Sunday, adding that the senior leader could not attend the meeting due to health reasons.
He said Khan will first take oath and then attend the Assembly session on Monday.
About the absence of Shivpal, Mehrotra said, “Though he won on the SP election symbol, he is the head of a party. Earlier also, he had not attended a meeting.”
At the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav gave tips to the party legislators and asked them to raise issues of public interest.
“The party chief has asked us to raise issues of public interest with facts. We have to play a role of strong opposition. As this will be the budget session, our party will strongly put issues the common man is facing,” SP leader Rajpal Kashyap said.