The man Amar Singh loves to hate has been accused of many things. Targeting Jayaprada is only one of them. In an interview to Anshuman G Dutta, Azam Khan says it's all propaganda.
You were one of the founding members of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and you stood behind Mulayam Singh Yadav for 25 years. But today you are on the verge of splitting with him. What caused the bad blood?
There is no question of separation with Mulayamji. My relationship with him stands on a firm base of mutual love and respect. Mera to unse mohabbat ka rishta hai (Our relationship is based on love). The relation is not so weak that it will break on such flimsy grounds.
My only issue with him (Mulayam Singh Yadav) is about his closeness to Kalyan Singh who has accepted his role behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The country is ashamed of him (Kalyan Singh); he is a traitor as well as a culprit of entire humanity. But even this damage is not enough to break my association with Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav).
Spitting fire: Azam Khan
Then, why are you making an issue of Jayaprada's candidature from Rampur?
Jayaprada was never my real issue with Netaji. My dispute is over Kalyan Singh. This time, Jayaprada's candidature (on a Samajwadi Party ticket) became a local issue in Rampur because it is a religious place. People here can't forget what happened during the Babri Masjid episode and how Kalyan Singh issued orders and monitored the destruction of the mosque.
But Jayaprada has alleged that your supporters are distributing her nude posters. Allegedly, she has even threatened to commit suicide over it?
I swear in the name of god that I never did any such thing. How can one even think of indulging in such a cheap act? Maine kabhi unki ashleel tasveerein nahi batwayi, na kabhi kiya hai na kabhi karunga. (I didn't distribute her nude photographs and will never so such a thing). I don't know what made her say these things but she is only ruining her image by resorting to such sensationalism. She should not make such false allegations against anyone. As far as I am concerned, I am a very small person from the grassroots of the society. She is our leader while I am not even a party candidate.
As far as her threats of committing suicide are concerned, Jayaprada has already attempted it twice and nobody can guarantee that she will not think of doing so again. I don't know how I can be of any help if she attempts it for the third time.
She should levy such allegations against the Opposition parties so that people give her accusations a second thought.
Amar Singh's critics say that there isn't any Samajwadi left in SP. Do you agree?
Amar Singh is a reputed man while I am an insignificant foot soldier of the party. I will give my best to assure that the foundation of the party remains intact till my last breath. But there is no denying that the party's image has taken a beating due to Amar Singh's ways.
One incident that harmed the SP's image?
How can Mulayamji embrace someone like Kalyan Singh in a public meeting? He (Kalyan Singh) is a lowly character who has hurt Muslim sentiments while Mulayamji was known for his secular image. But when he hugged Kalyan Singh, he proved that he is sailing on two boats. The SP has been perhaps the most secular party but now it is giving shelter to characters like Kalyan.
Do you think your public protests could result in the SP losing Muslim votes in these elections?
It's wrong to say that I protested against anything. I don't know what would have happened had I opted for any kind of protest. As far as Muslim votes for the party are concerned, I can't say anything till May 16 . I am no fortune-teller and I can't predict the future.
Your sudden closeness to the Congress candidate from Rampur, Noor Bano, is fuelling speculations that you are planning to quit the SP for either the Congress or BSP? How far is that true?
I have nothing to do with Noor Bano. Mera to unse dua salaam tak ka bhi rishta nahi hai (We are not even acquaintances). So far I have not thought of quitting the Samajwadi Party but things can change after May 16. I don't want to make any statement that will lead to more speculation.
A lot has been said about Amar Singh and Jayaprada's relationship. What do you have to say about it?
What can I say? I am a very small person and they are big leaders. Only a week is left for the poll verdict to be declared and there is no point in getting involved in such guessing games. As far as Jayaprada is concerned, woh meri behen ke samaan hai aur main unka bhai hoon. Rampur wala bhai nahi, Mumbai wala bhai (Jayaprada is like a sister to me.) She stays in five-star hotels whereas I still live in a modest accommodation.
But do you think Jayaprada can be a mass leader like you?
She is already a leader. Woh hamari afsar hai (She is a senior party official). She and Amar Singh make national headlines. They are kingmakers and have their own designs. My area of work is still laden with dust.
Your statements against Jayaprada and Amar Singh are always laden with puns and taunts...
Aisa kuch bhi nahi hai. Main unke khilaaf kuch bhi nahi bol sakta (I dare not speak against them). Only a week is left for the people's verdict. Let's hope for the best.