Allahabad: Chastened by the snub received from party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for his spat with the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, SP heavyweight Mohd Azam Khan on Saturday said he was not among those whose concerns were limited to getting a chosen favourite in the state Legislative Council.

"I would prefer to talk about good things and not matters like these. Right now, I can only say that I am not among those whose concerns are limited to getting a person of own choice in the state legislative council", Khan, who is also a senior cabinet minister in the newly-installed Uttar Pradesh government, told reporters here.

The SP leader was replying to queries relating to party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's decision to have Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari's son-in-law Umar Ali Khan as one of the party's candidates for the elections to the Upper House of the state legislature.

Azam Khan, who has long been involved in a war of words with the Shahi Imam, had strongly opposed the move and claimed that the defeat of Umar Ali Khan in the recently-held Assembly elections was indicative of the fact that though Bukhari was a prominent religious leader, he could make little difference in politics.

Khan also hit back at BSP supremo Mayawati's threats over any possible damage to the memorials and parks named after dalit icons, saying, "Those days are over when only one segment of the society used to be honoured and the rest were humiliated. We have formed the government with a view to ensuring dignity to all sections of the society. All are being treated with respect in UP".

The Minister for Urban Development, who was here to review preparations for the Kumbh Mela scheduled early next year, claimed that the mega religious congregation will be "an event that people will enjoy and remember fondly for a long time".

"We are committed to ensuring it that arrangements for the Kumbh Mela are in no way inferior to what is seen at Mecca during the Haj pilgrimage. We are in constant touch with the Centre and hope that shortage of funds will not impede the preparations in any way", Azam Khan said.

"We are trying to get pucca ghats constructed along the banks of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna and at their confluence, the Sangam, which would bring great convenience to devotees who converge there for a holy dip.

We are also hopeful of full cooperation from the Ministry of Defence which controls vast tracts of land around the Mela area", the SP leader said.

"We will ensure that pilgrims from across the country as well as abroad have no complaints with regard to amenities or law and order.

The SP was in power when the Ardh Kumbh, a congregation of almost equal magnitude, was held in 2007.

Those who came returned home with sweet memories.

So will be the case this time as well", Khan said.