In what many saw as an attempt to assuage the feelings of Muslims who are purportedly disenchanted with the Samajwadi Party government post the Muzaffarnagar riots, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday promised his government would work for the progress of the minorities, especially Muslims.
His remarks come two days after his father and Samajwadi Party national chief Mulayam Singh Yadav vowed to continue paying special attention to the uplift of the minority community, no matter what his detractors said.
Akhilesh Yadav was speaking as the chief guest at a book release function at Aishbagh Eidgah here on Tuesday. The book is about the life and contribution of noted scholar Maulana Ahmed Miyan Farangi Mahli. Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli has compiled the book ‘Tazkira Maulana Ahmed Miyan Farangi Mahali’.
The chief minister also listed the government’s successful welfare schemes, which were now being replicated in other states.
“The SP government has always been doing its best for the uplift of Muslims. We are looking for ways of providing employment to the community within the legal framework,” Yadav told the gathering, comprising scholars, clerics, students and former bureaucrats, mostly Muslims.
Much like his father, Akhilesh Yadav said despite a big challenge from the communal forces, his government was determined to bring the guilty to book.
Minutes before the chief minister’s speech, additional advocate general Zafaryab Jilani had a piece of advice for Akhilesh Yadav.
“The current situation in the state is similar to what your father faced in the 1990s during the Babri Masjid demolition days. You have to steer the citizens out of this crisis as your father did. And we are hopeful that you will prove your secular credentials in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” Jilani said.