As the BJP felicitated its controversial MLAs who have been booked for their suspected role in the Muzaffarnagar riots, the Samajwadi Party Thursday fielded Azam Khan, its Muslim face, to take on Narendra Modi and woo Muslims while SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav targeted the Congress with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls.
Conscious of the potential political damage the large scale migration of Muslims from riot-hit villages could cause, Khan pointed fingers at the BJP event in Agra to felicitate the MLAs, Modi’s “puppy” analogy for the victims of the 2002 riots in Gujarat and Modi’s outburst against more power being supplied to Muslim-dominated Rampur - Khan’s home district - to caution Muslims about the dangers of deserting the SP.
“He calls us puppies. No fascist has the right to insult us. The community you call puppy are your brothers. The difference is that we are in a minority and you are in a majority. How can they be trusted to run the country?” Khan said at an impressive public meeting at the Islamia College ground.
“Those from Rampur must remember that this BJP leader complained about extra electricity supply to Rampur. Modi remembered only one city in a country of 125 crore people. Do not take this lightly. This reflects how close a watch the RSS and BJP are keeping on you,” Khan said.
A person who could not bear the thought of two hours of extra electricity, just think about what intentions he has towards you,” Khan told the gathering that had a significant presence of bearded and skull-cap wearing Muslims.
Attacking the BJP for felicitating the MLAs in Agra, Khan deplored what he said were attempts by the BJP to divide Hindus and Muslims.
Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told the meeting that the felicitation of BJP MLAs in Agra aims to “send the message to BJP workers across the country to indulge in similar riots”.
Khan also sought to portray Mulayam as a saviour of Muslims as he had ordered that Hindu karsevaks in Ayodhya be fired upon in 1990 to save the Babri Masjid “despite being a Hindu and a follower of Krishna”.
Khan said the Muzaffarnagar riots were “shameful” and had forced SP leaders to bow their heads in shame. But he added that the BJP wanted the SP to vanish and called on party supporters to close ranks against the BJP. He said Muslims would never find another