With his son’s government facing constant criticism from BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday hit back challenging the Gujarat CM to a face-to-face debate on development work in UP.
Mulayam charged the BJP with instigating riots to impede growth in UP and asked Modi why Muslims were discriminated against in Gujarat and if education and irrigation had been made free there as it has been done by the Akhilesh 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 addressing a 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.”
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 anything 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.
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 he has given land to Sikhs in the Terrai region while Modi is ousting them from Gujarat. 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.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.