Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday attacked the Congress for adopting “anti-Muslim policies” and said the BJP was a “lesser evil” in dealing with minorities in Uttar Pradesh.
“Whenever the BJP has ruled, Muslims have not been exploited. Despite a couple of communal riots, their exploitation has been less,” Yadav said at a press conference here.
The statement — coming less than a year before next year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh — is likely to cause discomfort in the Congress. The SP supports the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre from the outside.
Asked if the 2002 Gujarat riots could be described as a minor issue, Yadav said he was referring only to UP and not the rest of India. “They (BJP) have created problems in the country. The Gujarat chief minister himself carried out (the 2002) riots as the party thought it was the opportune moment to target Muslims,” he alleged.
Asked why the BJP was better than the Congress in dealing with the minorities, Yadav claimed that due to his party’s strong base in UP, the BJP was scared of exploiting Muslims.
“But the Congress is arrogant. It is not concerned about our protests. But we will tackle it," he said.