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Read: Politically charged super-rally Sunday in UP The UP strongman added, “Only the Samajwadi Party cares for Muslims. Muslims know that the SP won't tolerate injustice against them.” Muslims make up 20% of the population in UP, India’s most populous state, and also have 17% vote share. He lauded Muslims for consistently supporting the SP since 1987 and said no party could lure them away. Mulayam’s pitch comes at a time when the ruling SP is facing massive criticism over its handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots in western UP last year. This has led to talk that the SP can no longer take its support base for granted. The SP chief took potshots at the BJP, saying the saffron party was finding it difficult to find candidates in UP, while the SP had a number of popular candidates. He said SP had popular candidates in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra as well. He targeted Lok Janshkati Party (LJP) chief for allying with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Referring Modi’s rally in Lucknow, expected to begin almost simultaneously, Mulayam said the turnout in Allahabad would be much more than in Lucknow. He highlighted the “achievements” of the SP government headed by his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Mulayam assured people of better road connectivity between Lucknow and Allahabad and educational facilities.
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