LUCKNOW: If Rampur is going to polls, the family of its nawab can’t be kept away from action. So, in an interesting turn of events, Nawab Kazim Ali Khan aka Naved Mian, who is a senior member of the Congress, has extended his support to BJP‘s candidate Akash Saxena.
A scion of the local royal family, Kazim Ali has been a five-time MLA from neighbouring Suar and Bilaspur (now non-existent) and is known for his running political feud with SP veteran Azam Khan, whose disqualification has necessitated the bypoll in Rampur.
When contacted, Akash Saxena confirmed that Naved Mian has announced his support to him.
Akash is the son of former party MP from Rampur, Shiv Bahadur Saxena. Samajwadi Party has fielded Azam Khan-backed Asim Raza. Interestingly, Raza had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha bypoll recently from Rampur.
Elections are fought on perceptions, a senior BJP leader said and added Naved Mian’s support to Akash Saxena will certainly help the saffron party as Azam Khan would be using all his might to ensure his candidate Asim Raza’s victory. Other than the perception, Naved Mian’s support to Akash Saxena would also help the BJP woo the Shia community in Rampur, which has a population of around 10,000 in the town, political analysts say. However, it shouldn’t be considered as a sign of his inclination towards the saffron party, they add. “Naved Mian’s support is for Akash Saxena and not for the BJP primarily because Akash had taken up the cudgel against his arch-rival Azam Khan and he is a party in over 80 cases against former SP minister. It was his (Saxena’s) complaint that led to Azam’s disqualification in a hate speech case,” says a political analyst.
He contested against Azam in the 2022 UP assembly polls.
What began as political enmity between Azam Khan and Nawab’s family in Rampur in late 70s and early 80s has now turned into a personal enmity, locals say. “Naved Mian’s support to Azam is just an attempt to ensure the SP candidate’s defeat,” they add. Before Naved Mian, his mother Begum Noor Bano, who was also an MP in 1996 and 1999, too, had been at loggerheads with Azam.

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