Azam Khan sees conspiracy behind his detention in Boston

Last Updated: Sun, Apr 28, 2013 09:18 hrs

New York: Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan, who was briefly detained on Wednesday at a US airport, accused external affairs minister Salman Khurshid of hatching a "conspiracy" to defame him outside India. 

He even claimed that a call on continuation of Samajwadi Party's support to the UPA government will be taken by party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav after hearing his version and that of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on their return to India. 

"Our leader knows exactly what had happened and who is behind this and he will take a decision soon on the continuation of support to the UPA government," he said. 

On Akhilesh meeting Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in Chennai, Khan said formation of a third front with AIADMK and Pattali Makkal Katchi could not be ruled out. 

Mulayam Singh, he said, would lead such front, if and when it's formed, and would become the next prime minister. 

Insisting that his situation should not be compared to that of Kalam, Shah Rukh, Indian ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri or the then Indian envoy to the US Meera Shankar, Khan alleged, "It was a conspiracy because I am a powerful non-Congress Muslim leader of India and he (Khurshid) had cleverly planned with the help of the department of homeland security using his clout as an Indian cabinet minister. 

"My detention at the Boston Logan International can't be treated on par with insults heaped on either former President APJ Abdul Kalam or actor Shah Rukh Khan as I was targeted by Khurshid and his coterie who had no guts to oppose me on Indian soil," he told PTI before boarding his flight to India. 

"When I was in detention inside the airport, the consulate general of India's protocol officers who had come to receive us acted like total strangers and silent spectators. I guess they must have got some instructions from their superiors to stay away," Khan alleged. 

Maintaining that during the 45 minutes of his detention the protocol officials could have contacted the New York consul general and the consul general could have contacted Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao in Washington, Khan claimed, "Nobody spoke a single word to get me out of trouble and I had to fend for myself." 

"How can you expect the government of India to protest when Khurshid is holding the foreign ministry portfolio? If you do not know who Khurshid is, then I am very sorry... He tried to defame me in my state and failed miserably. He is unfit to be Indian foreign minister," he alleged. 

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