Abu Asim Azmi
Abu Asim Azmi born 8 August 1955, is the state president of Maharashtra Samajwadi Party. He represented Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament from November 2002- Nov 2008.
Abu Asim Azmi is the senior leader of Samajwadi Party, Maharashtra, Mumbai. He is a Member of the Legislative Assembly. He generated controversy when he took his oath in Hindi instead of Marathi and was slapped  by fellow legislators (mainly from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) while doing so.
Political life 
Abu Asim Azmi is a well-known politician from the Indian state of Maharashtra. He is the president of Maharashtra unit of the Samajwadi Party. Azmi has served a term as a Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha representing Uttar Pradesh from November 2002 to 2008.
Hailing from Manjir Patti area of Azamgarh district in UP, Azmi was elected as a Member of Maharashtra Assembly from two segments during the 2009 Maharashtra assembly elections namely Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar and Bhiwandi (East), which he vacated later as the election rules don't permit one individual to represent two seats at a time. He had earlier made several unsuccessful attempts to enter the Vidhan Sabha as well as Lok Sabha (Lower House).
In 2004 contesting elections for the first time in his political career, he had lost to Shiv Sena's Yogesh Patil from Bhiwandi assembly constituency. Victory again eluded him during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections where he was pitted against Congress' Gurudas Kamat, Shiv Sena's Gajanan Kirtikar and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's Shalini Thakrey from Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency.
A successful businessman, Azmi entered politics by accident. He was arrested for the 6 March 1993 bomb blasts, which killed more than 250 people. The Mumbai Police had alleged that he was complicit with the perpetrators of the bomb blast by helping them flee the country through his travel agency.
However, in a twist of faith, the Supreme Court of India acquitted him of all the charges after spending a year in jail. To fight the injustice that he suffered at the hands of the establishment, Azmi decided that entering politics was the only recourse. He decided to join Samajwadi Party, which was founded by socialist leader Mulayam Singh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh.
He began gaining popularity among Muslims in Maharashtra no sooner he joined politics, particularly those hailing from UP looked up to him as a leader they have been waiting for and his party as an alternative to Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. His popularity can be gauged from the fact that his party won two assembly seats under his leadership during the 1995 Assembly elections in spite of a saffron wave in the aftermath of 1992 riots.
The win was a booster shot for Azmi, who in his inimitable style raised issues concerning Muslims in the state. However, he had his share of challenges as well, the biggest jolt of his political career came when two of his lieutenants, Nawab Malik, MLA from Nehru Nagar constituency, and Bashir Moosa Patel, legislator from Umarkhadi constituency, quit the party leaving him in lurch. The party has since become a one-man show since there is no other leader worth his name. He found his true calling again during the 2009 elections when his party came successful on four assembly segments.
He has been bestowed with the title of 'Sher-e-Maharashtra' by his supporters, some also call him 'Quaid-e-Millat'. His political rallies attract good crowds particularly in Muslim pockets in Mumbai and Thane, but these have hardly resulted into meaningful political gains as the party continues to remain a marginal player in the state. Azmi has still managed to strike a chord with Muslims even as he gains popularity in other parts of the state.
All through his career, Azmi's pet issues were the harassment of Muslim youths in the wake of several blasts in Mumbai. He was also the first leader to champion the cause of Mumbra girl Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in a fake encounter by Gujarat police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on the allegations that she was along with her alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives planning to eliminate Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.
During his journey as a politician, Azmi continued raising issues like custodial death of Khwaja Yunus, a 27-year-old engineer and an accused in the Ghatkopar blasts of 2002, who was allegedly killed during police custody in January 2003. He has also been campaigning for the release of innocent Muslim youths arrested in the Malegaon blast case. He has been criticised by political parties of all hues for his controversial stands, however Mr Azmi has remained defiant in spite of all criticism. Recently, he had ruffled quite a few feathers when he called for an inquiry into the alleged custodial death of 39-year-old man, Faiz Ahmed Aziz Usmani, who was picked by crime branch in questioning for 13/7 triple blast which had rocked Mumbai.
Away from the Muslim issues, he started taking on the Shiv Sena and MNS for harassing North Indians. Both Shiv Sena and MNS in particular have been baying for his blood for his stand on North Indians with the MNS taking its enmity further when its legislators assaulted him in the Vidhan Sabha for taking oath in Hindi. The four MNS MLA's — Ram Kadam, late Ramesh Wanjale, Shishir Shinde and Vasant Gite, had to face four-year suspension from the Assembly for attacking Azmi, however political compulsions later made the State government to revoke the suspension.
However, an adamant Azmi has continued his tirade against Sena-MNS while at the same time criticising Congress-NCP government for not acting strictly against the two. Azmi has been taking on the Democratic Front government in the assembly by raising issues concerning Muslims in Maharashtra.
He is officially the richest elected representative of Maharashtra with cash and assets worth Rs 126 crore (Rs 1.26 billion). Incidentally, his constituency, Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar, consists of poorest of the poor in Mumbai.
On 30 April, 2012 a Mazgaon metropolitan magistrate's court convicted and sentenced Azmi and four others to two years in jail for allegedly giving provocative speeches to incite communal violence 12 years back. The case dates back to year 2000 when Azmi had allegedly given a provocative speech at Nagpada in South Mumbai against Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and former Shiv Sena leader Narayan Rane.
Personal Life 
Abu Asim Azmi was born in Azamgarh district, Uttar Pradesh, India. He has a son named Farhan Azmi who is married to Bollywood actress, Ayesha Takia. In 2009, he declared his assets exceeding Rs. 100 Crores.
In 2012, a Metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai convicted Azmi over a provocative speech he made at a rally in Mastan Talao, Nagpada on February 24, 2000. According to the prosecution, Azmi had allegedly said that, “If Islam were to be attacked, he would not be bothered if India was to face another partition.”
Abu Azmi had been under fire for his comments on legalization of illegal slums formed after 2000.
Abu Azmi faced strong criticism on his views on increase in rape cases in India. Abu Azmi caused a furore by saying that young women who go out skimpily dressed attract attention and face risks. "Such nudity must be banned. The censor board must not clear movies having explicit scenes which embarrass families watching them together," he said. Following this his son Farhan Azmi and daughter in law Ayesha Takia distanced themselves from Mr. Azmi's comments by saying "For the first time, I felt the person making those statements is not my dad,". and "Comments made by anyone, even someone close to me, when they are regressive, they do not reflect my thoughts and mindset. I'm an individual and have my own mentality which doesn't match any regressive way of thinking at all!".
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- "Abu Azmi's son regrets his comments on women". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2013-01-10.