Bad weather forces Mulayam to skip Azamgarh rally

Lucknow, Jan 1 (IANS) Inclement weather Sunday prevented Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav from reaching Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh town, where he was to address a rally.

While some of his party colleagues reached the town a day earlier, Mulayam Singh could not take off in a chartered aircraft from Lucknow on account of bad weather.

Party general secretary Azam Khan, the party’s Muslim face, was scheduled to fly with him in the plane to Azamgarh, some 270 km from here.

‘Day-long rain and poor visibility did not allow the small aircraft to take-off from the Lucknow airport, following which the SP president had to abandon his trip to Azamgarh,’ a party source told IANS here.

‘Even landing conditions were not favourable in Azamgarh for the same reason,’ he added.

Reports from Azamgarh said that the rally organisers did hold the rally, but disappointment was clearly writ large on the faces of the people who had converged at the rally grounds to listen to Mulayam Singh and Azam Khan.

Those who addressed the crowds included Abu Asim Azmi, president of the Maharashtra unit of SP and party MP from Ballia Neeraj Shekhar, who is the son of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar.

Party general secretary Mohan Singh and another leader Ambika Chaudhary, who were present on the occasion, chose not to address the rally.