SP leader's defiance in Assembly wins him admirers in MP and Gujarat
Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi's popularity has soared after MNS activists slapped and manhandled him inside the Vidhan Bhavan for taking oath in Hindi on November 9.
The SP leader's defiance against the MNS diktat to take oath only in Marathi has won him many admirers in north India.
"I have received around 15 calls asking for Azmi's contact details from people in several north Indian states. There have also been calls from people in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and Surat in Gujarat.
Everyone wants to either congratulate him or invite him for a felicitation event," said Vinod Yadav, correspondent with Dainik Bhaskar, one of the largest Hindi dailies in north India.
Added SP spokesperson in Maharshtra, Abdul Kadir Chaudhury, "Organisations like the Lawyers' Forum in Meerut and a literary group in Allahabad want to felicitate him.
Some individuals from Patna, Ranchi, New Delhi, Surat and Bharatpur in Rajasthan have also been asking for Azmi's number."
Chaudhary said Azmi's resolve in the Assembly did not go unnoticed in the United States, London and Holland either.
However, Azmi has only confirmed his presence for a felicitation event organised by the SP in in Lucknow on November 17.
The function will be attended by national general secretary Amar Singh and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The attack on Azmi was condemned by several north Indian leaders, including former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
On November 9, as Abu Azmi uttered the word 'main' while taking the oath inside the Vidhan Bhavan, MNS MLA Ramesh Wanjale rushed to the platform and tried to snatch the mike from him.
His colleagues Shishir Shinde, Vasant Gite and Ram Kadam joined him and allegedly slapped and pushed Azmi. MNS group leader Bala Nandgaonkar later apologised for insulting the dignity of the house.
The number of MNS MLAs suspended for attacking Abu Asim Azmi inside Vidhan Bhavan
Approximate number of marshals posted outside Vidhan Bhavan