Updated: December 27, 2021 5:38:26 am
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday lashed out at the Samajwadi Party (SP), alleging that its president Akhilesh Yadav was planning to stop the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya if elected to power in the upcoming state elections.
Shah claimed that Akhilesh was upset with the BJP because the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had outlawed the practice of triple talaq to do justice to Muslim women, and because the prime minister had laid the foundation of the Ram Temple that would be ready within months.
Referring to the police firing on kar sevaks who had gathered near the Ramjanmabhoomi site in Ayodhya in 1990 — the Mulayam Singh government was in power at the time — Shah said, “Who had opened fire on kar sevaks? Which party had opened fire? Who had brought down the Kalyan Singh government? He [Akhilesh] waits and dreams…that UP public will elect him and he will lock Ram Janmabhoomi…Akhilesh babu, use your strength as much as you can but no one can stop the work of Ram Lalla temple.”
The home minister alleged that the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) were casteist, and would work for only their vote banks if elected. In contrast, the BJP’s motto was “sabka saath, sabka vikaas [together, development for all]”, he added. Shah appealed to the crowd to defeat the SP and the BSP, and help the ruling party cross the 300-seat mark.
The home minister made the comments at two public meetings organised as part of the party’s “Jan Vishwas Yatra” in Other Backward Class (OBC)-dominated areas in the Braj and Kanpur-Bundelkhand regions. He said the BJP’s victories in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2017 Assembly polls would not have been possible without the guidance of former state chief minister Kalyan Singh who died in Lucknow on August 21 at the age of 89. Singh was a prominent OBC leader and a Hindutva icon, and was in power in 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished.
One of Shah’s meetings was organised in Kasganj that comes under the Etah parliamentary constituency. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Kalyan Singh was elected from the constituency that is currently held by his son Rajveer.
“It was Kalyan Singh who first spoke about good governance in Uttar Pradesh. Kalyan Singh was the first to speak about the backward class people in Uttar Pradesh, and it was he who gave rights to the people of the backward castes,” said the union home minister.
He added, “It was Kalyan Singh who stepped down as chief minister in two minutes and made way for the Ram Temple when he had to choose between the temple and his kursi [chair].”
The home minister said during the rule of the Akhilesh Yadav government, “SP goons” used to harass people and there was a “dada, a bahubali [strongman] and one mini CM” in every district and the law-and-order situation was so poor that people avoided sending their daughters to schools and colleges. “In the five years of the Adityanath-led government, goons have fled UP,” he added.
Shah alleged more than 700 riots occurred in Akhilesh’s five-year rule. In contrast, no one would dare indulge in riots now, he added. The home minister claimed that because of the Adityanath government’s efforts there had been a 70 per cent decline in dacoity, 65 per cent decrease in looting, 50 per cent decline in kidnapping and extortion, and 65 per cent decrease in rape cases.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya labelled Akhilesh a “chunaavi Hindu [a Hindu during elections]”, and said the SP chief did not pay tribute to Kalyan Singh after the former chief minister’s death. Maurya urged the crowd to avenge the insult.
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