Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Thursday came down heavily on the Samajwadi Party for embracing BJP rebel Kalyan Singh and his son, triggering another potential war of words between the allies.
Speaking at a conference at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in the Capital, he said: “The party that berated the Congress all along for the demolition of the Babri Masjid today says Kalyan Singh is a great leader.”
Kalyan was UP’s chief minister when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, while the Narasimha Rao government was at the Centre. Muslims in UP are believed to have held even the Centre responsible for the demolition, and had shifted loyalties to Mulayam Singh Yadav, who as CM had a bloody confrontation with Kar Sevaks in 1990.
Khurshid attributed the “defection syndrome” and its acceptance to a political culture in UP where people “do anything to get immediate access to power”, and traced the decline to the decline of the Congress. What may be particularly embarrassing for both parties is that the speech was made at a high-profile symposium on ‘India: Enemies Within and Around’.
The incident comes close on the heels of the war of words between Amar Singh and Digvijay Singh for allegedly insulting Sanjay Dutt’s wife Maanyata.