SP leader demands RS seat for Yakub Memon's wife, sacked

Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Farooq Ghosi demanded that Raheen, the widow of hanged terrorist Yakub Memon, be nominated to the Rajya Sabha - leading to his being sacked as the Mumbai unit's vice president.

A Samajwadi Party spokesperson said state and city unit chief Abu Asim Azmi took the decision barely a day after Ghosi made the demand in a letter to party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Earlier, Azmi had sought an explanation from Ghosi for his controversial demand.

Two days after Memon was hanged in the Nagpur Central Jail, Ghosi, the Maharashtra SP unit vice president, described Memon's wife Raheen as 'helpless'.

"Raheen was in jail for many years. How much she would have suffered.. Today I find Raheen helpless and there are many such Muslims in the country who find themselves helpless and for whom we have to fight for. We should make Raheen a Rajya Sabha MP and make her the voice of weak and helpless people," Ghosi said in a letter to the SP chief.

State party president Abu Asim Azmi, however, distanced himself from the matter, saying that an explanation will be sought from Ghosi on the content of his letter.

"He (Ghosi) has not consulted the party before making irresponsible comments. He has written the letter in his personal capacity. He will be asked to explain his stand, following which necessary action will be taken against him," Azmi told reporters.

Congress said the decision to hang Memon was taken by the Supreme Court and should thus, not be politicised. "This is their internal party matter. But it seems more like their tacit agenda to communalise the issue. The decision to hang Memon was taken by the Supreme Court and thus the matter should not be politicised now," Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.

BJP leader Madhav Bhandari said Ghosi's comments prove that SP is only interested in playing vote-bank politics and that the party should come out and clear its stand on the issue.

"Every person has the right to suggest something to his party. But every leader needs to show some constraint while making suggestions. SP has to clear its stand and if he is acting against party line, then party should take some serious action. This is sheer exploitation of votebank politics," he said.

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