His son’s government facing constant criticism from BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday hit back challenging the Gujarat chief minister to a face-to-face debate on development work carried out in Uttar Pradesh.
Mulayam charged Modi’s party with instigating riots to impede growth in UP and asked him why Muslims were discriminated against in Gujarat and whether education and irrigation had been made free there like it has been done by the Akhilesh Yadav government.
“Yesterday, I heard the whole speech of Modi in Meerut. Addressing me as Netaji, he asked several questions. I am ready to answer each one. I am ready for a face-to-face debate with Modi,” Mulayam said while addressing a party rally in Gonda.
Rejecting the Gujarat CM’s allegations of discrimination in relief work in riot-affected Muzaffarnagar, he said, “Modi claimed that I am favouring a particular section in providing relief. He should be aware that we provided compensation to 62 people, including 46 Muslims and 16 Hindus. There is no discrimination.” Mulayam said that if there is anyone who does discrimination, it was Modi. “Why are you discriminating against Muslims in Gujarat,” he asked. Alleging that hurdles were being created in the development of the state, Mulayam asked who was behind the Muzaffarnagar riots. “When we start development, your party is engaged in riots.
Tell me if your legislators were not responsible for Muzaffarnagar,” he asked Modi.
“I can’t say anyhthing about you as court has given clean chit to you, but your people were involved. Your people are roaming in the state. During Gujarat riots, your home minister was involved and rioting was done at his instance,” Mulayam said referring to Amit Shah without naming him.
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Mulayam said that when he visited Gujarat, after the riots in 2002, Modi had told him that he cannot provide him security. “I went there and even addressed Muslims. Later I went to a hospital where Muslim women showed their wounds and narrated stories, which I cannot tell. Muslims trusted me and claimed that they will only show their wounds to Mulayam Singh,” he said.
The SP chief claimed that he has given land to Sikhs in the Terrai region of the state while Modi is ousting them from Gujarat and snatching their land. “It is my allegation that Sikhs are being harassed in Gujarat. Modi Saheb should now reply,” he said.
Defending his son’s government in UP, Mulayam claimed that the state government has waived off loans of farmers and provided free irrigation. “Is it possible in Gujarat? UP will be the most developed state in coming five years,” he said, while adding that Modi should check facts before levelling allegations.
“May be all six crore people of Gujarat are happy. In UP, at least half the 21 crore population is happy. There is no competition (with Gujarat) ,” he claimed. Following his lead, Akhilesh and senior minister Azam Khan too came up with comparative figures to show how UP was doing better than Gujarat. “Yesterday he (Modi) was talking about sugar mills. He should know that we have more sugar mills in our four districts than there are in his whole state,” Akhilesh said.
He, however, admitted that sugarcane in Gujarat has more sugar content, but added that the crop there takes one year to grow while UP’s sugarcane gets ready for cultivation in six months.
“We are ahead in milk, wheat and potato production,” he added..
Azam Khan said, compared to 18,000 villages in Gujarat, UP has 1,07,000 villages. “We have 200 lakh hectare of irrigated land, while Gujarat has hardly 56 lakh hectares,” he added.
Head of AICC minority cell slams SP
Lucknow: Chairman of all India minority department of the AICC, Khurshid Saiyed today said minorities’ “illusion” regarding Samajwadi Party is over in Uttar Pradesh, specially after the Muzaffarnagar riots. “It is most shameful that about 1.50 lakh people are displaced and forced to live in relief camps…,”
Khurshid told reporters here. As many as 35 children died in relief camps… and the Chief Minister (Akhilesh Yadav) is unaware of the severity of cold, the Congress leader said. PTI