Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and controversial leader Azam Khan has joined the long list of those in opposition putting forward their candidature for the post of Prime Minister.
Speaking to the media, he suggested that his party's alliance with BSP will win over 70 seats in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. And when asked who can be the PM if the 'gathbandhan' comes to power, Azam Khan had no hesitation in naming himself.
"I will become," replied the SP leader to the question posed in front of him.
Azam Khan will represent his party from Rampur in the upcoming polls. He will up against former party leader and two-time MP from Rampur, Jaya Prada, who very recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The SP leader has a stronghold in the constituency when it comes to state elections. He has won from the Rampur seat in 33 of the last 39 years. Hence, his contest against Jaya Prada, whom he has revolted against in the past when the two were together in SP, will be one to watch out for.
As for the new BJP leader, she was part of the SP between 2004 and 2010. Earlier associated with the TDP, Jaya Prada joined SP in 2004 and won the Rampur seat. She was re-elected in 2009, but just over a year later, was expelled from the party after siding with Amar Singh.
Azam Khan became a vocal critic of Jaya Prada after she moved to the Amar Singh camp. In 2009, Azam Khan supporters openly campaigned against the party candidate Jaya Prada. Interestingly, Azam Khan himself had brought Jaya Prada to Rampur for Samajwadi Party.
The 2014 election for Uttar Pradesh's Rampur seat had witnessed a thrilling battle as BJP's Dr Nepal Singh emerged victorious against the Samajwadi Party's candidate, Naseer Ahmad Khan, with 3.58 lakh votes versus the latter's 3.35 lakh votes.
The Samajwadi party has allied with its regional rival BSP for the 2019 polls and eschewed another alliance with the Congress having failed to compete with the BJP in the 2017 UP elections.
The Samajwadi Party and BSP will be attempting to mount a serious counter to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls having been decimated five years earlier as the SP managed to win just five seats and the BSP, zero. The BJP, on the other hand, won an extraordinary 71 seats which went a long way towards securing a historic country-wide mandate.