Daijiworld Media Network - Etah
Etah, Nov 16: The Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, realizing that the 2012 assembly elections in the state will be a litmus test for his party, stuck to the basics and confined himself to ‘Muslims’ and ‘Yadavs’ the two main vote-banks of his party during his speech at his first election rally held at Etah, around 270 km from Lucknow on Wednesday November 16.
Attended by a crowd of nearly 40,000, Mulayam harped upon the old agenda of pacifying the Muslims. “I understand that Muslims are downtrodden and have been at the receiving end. I will take steps to alleviate their sufferings. Their condition is worse than dalits and it is clear from various commission reports,” said Mulayam.
Mulayam’s party suffered a setback during 2009 elections due to his bonhomie with estranged BJP leader Kalyan Singh. The result being that his fortune took a steep downfall with Muslims deserting him. Further the Muslim face of his party Azam Khan was also shown the door while Mulayam helped Kalyan Singh win the Etah parliamentary seat.
Realising his mistake, Mulayam remarked: “It was a wrong decision on my part to expel Azam Khan. I should not have done that but it is over and I have sought forgiveness from Muslims.” The Yadav chieftain also exhorted his partymen to contest the elections for capturing power. The Yadav satrap also did not fail to make election promises of free irrigation for farmers and sops to weavers. “Fight the elections with an aim to form the government. I have seen and contested many elections but this time I urge you to form the government with absolute majority,” he said. Mulayam also lashed out at Congress for not taking action against Mayawati for her corrupt practices.
Prior to Mulayam, firebrand leader Azam Khan took a dig at the proposal to divide UP. “It is a ploy by RSS to divide the state so that Muslims who are in a commanding position in the state are rendered useless by numbers,” he said. Azam also cleared the air about Mulayam’s illness stating that it is a conspiracy to derail the SP from performing well in the elections.
Azam also raised the Babri Masjid issue cornering Congress over the incident stating that it was responsible for the keeping of idols, opening of locks and later demolition of the mosque. “Rahul Gandhi should first clarify his stand on this issue and then seek votes,” he said.
Highlighting Mualayam’s concern for Muslims, Azam stated that the leader has sought forgiveness which no other leader did in independent India.
Defending his leader Mulayam, Azam Khan stated that there is a conspiracy to project that he is ill so that the election results can be manipulated. “Congress ministers beat up our youths when they showed black flags. This is wrong and undemocratic,” he said.
Azam Khan even termed Rahul as a clever fox who is 'hopping like a monkey' from Varanasi to mislead the people. “Rahul should first learn to restrain his partymen. He is a novice and called as Baba so let him learn politics,” he said.