<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The reverberations of the espionage racket in New Delhi may soon be felt in Lucknow and Rampur.Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Rajya Sabha MP Munawwar Saleem, whose aide Farhat Khan was arrested by the Delhi Police on Saturday, is considered very close to SP heavyweight Azam Khan, eight-time MLA from Rampur and a Cabinet Minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led government. Saleem was specially picked up by the SP, on Azam Khan’s insistence, to fight against BJP stalwart Sushma Swaraj from Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Even though Saleem lost badly, his proximity to Azam Khan helped him get the Rajya Sabha berth from UP in 2012.SP sources say that the arrest of Farhat has come at a critical time when the BJP is openly trying to hijack the nationalism and patriotism plank by using surgical strikes. They add that the BJP may use this issue to malign the party’s image, which is already being dented because of the raging family feud.An SP leader, however, said that that if the BJP chooses to take this line, the party won’t hesitate to exploit Shoaib’s, another person caught in the espionage racket, alleged links with the BJP. The BJP has already denied having any links with Shoaib, who reportedly called himself a member of the BJP’s minority front and has posted his pictures on Facebook with several BJP leaders.

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Espionage links may muddle UP politics