Newsmaker | The MLA vs the bulldozer: Brick by brick, the rise of AAP leader Amanatullah Khan

A two-time MLA, the 48-year-old who lives in Joga Bai Extension in Jamia Nagar has such grasp over the seat that he received it within the 2020 Assembly elections by means of 71,000 votes. What has sustained that reputation is Khan’s willingness to talk up for the Muslim neighborhood and its reasons, at a time when AAP itself is more and more cagey about it.

It is those agitations for which Khan steadily unearths himself in controversies. As in keeping with the Delhi Police, he has had 18 FIRs lodged towards him, maximum of them for obstructing public servants of their accountability, and for intimidation, and inflicting enmity and harm. A historical past sheet ready by means of police previous this 12 months presentations he has been both acquitted or discharged in 10 of those 18 circumstances.

The son of a farmer who’s married with two schoolgoing kids, Khan used to be born in Meerut in 1974. The circle of relatives later moved to Delhi.

Starting out as a businessman, Khan step by step rose as a neighborhood chief within the space, resulting in an passion in politics. In the 2013 Delhi Assembly polls, he fought his first election on a price ticket of the Lok Janshakti Party of the past due Ram Vilas Paswan. With the birthday party having virtually no presence in Delhi, Khan misplaced.

In 2015, he moved to AAP, which went on to brush the Assembly elections.

In the birthday party, Khan used to be quickly noticed as probably the most components within the deepening of the rift between senior birthday party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, and AAP founding member Kumar Vishwas.

In 2017, Khan known as Vishwas a “BJP agent” who used to be looking to “split the party”. Speaking to The Indian Express on the time, he stated: “This person (Vishwas) invited (NSA) Ajit Doval and RSS workers for his birthday party. How is it that he did not think of AAP MLAs and volunteers then… at a time when police, directed by the BJP, was arresting us and had launched a witch-hunt? Now he is talking about the greater good of the party… I still say he is an agent of the BJP and is trying to break the party.”

In what used to be noticed as a bid to placate Vishwas, Khan used to be made to step down from AAP’s affairs of state committee, and later suspended. His suspension used to be revoked a couple of months later.

Five years down the road, Khan is firmly established in AAP as a senior chief and the most important Muslim face, whilst Vishwas has had widespread run-ins with the management and is now not more concerned within the birthday party’s actions, regardless that he stays a member on paper.

In 2018, Khan used to be accused of assaulting then Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash at Chief Minister Kejriwal’s place of abode. The courtroom ultimate 12 months ordered framing of fees towards him and fellow MLA Prakash Jarwal, whilst acquitting Kejriwal, Deputy CM Sisodia and 9 others within the case.

The protests in past due 2019, early 2020 towards the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC in Shaheen Bagh, which falls below his constituency and is positioned rather almost about the place he lives, gave Khan the level he had to carry his profile.

Even as AAP formally maintained a distance from the protests, Khan now not most effective sponsored them, he additionally joined the agitation continuously.

An AAP chief who didn’t need to be named stated: “Amanatullah Khan, while controversial, has a lot of hold on his constituency. AAP’s stand of staying away from controversies over the past few years has meant that it has not come out in support of the anti-CAA protests, but Khan has always stood with his constituents as an MLA and party leader.”

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor stated police had a “strong case” towards Khan. “The 18 cases against him show how such a person can abuse and misuse his political clout to threaten people or officers to grab private or public land.”

Speaking to The Indian Express Thursday at Madanpur Khadar, sooner than he used to be arrested, Khan stated he stood for now not simply Muslims however “everyone” and used to be “not scared to go to jail”. “Madanpur Khadar is an unauthorised regularised colony. The Delhi government is doing everything here… making roads, repairing sewers. The BJP, MCD only come here to give notices and collect money from people. Everyone says Amanatullah supports and works for Muslims, but that’s not true. At Khadar, we have a mixed population and most of the voters support the BJP… They (police) say that I am breaking laws. How is protesting a crime? I don’t want to disrupt the law and order. I am sitting peacefully and protesting.”

Accusing the BJP of extorting other folks, Khan added, “We have never harassed poor people… Everyone, including my family, is scared because they will either have to pay huge sums of money to save their place or become a victim of bulldozer justice.”

He stated he may now not keep away amidst all that used to be taking place. “I go to my office every day with the thought that I can’t be sitting at home while my area is being demolished and my people are losing their homes and livelihood. I am here to show support and do something the BJP can never do.”

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