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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Comparison with Gujarat wrong, says Mulayam on Muzaffarnagar riots

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Agra, September 12, 2013
First Published: 14:07 IST(12/9/2013) | Last Updated: 00:18 IST(13/9/2013)

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday rejected civil aviation miniser Ajit Singh's critism of his government's handling of communal violence in the state and assured riot victims will get justice.

Talking to reporters at the conclusion of his party's national executive meeting, he said, "There was no justice in Gujarat but justice will be done in UP...I have never done the politics of caste and religion. Strict action will be taken against the guilty. We will provide the maximum possible assistance to them (the riot victims)… will take "such strong action (against the culprits) that they will never dare repeat it".

He played down the face-off with Azam Khan and said Azam could never be upset with him.

Addressing media persons after the national executive meet in Agra, he said, "Whatever the issue is, it is between the state government and Azam Khan."

When asked about Azam Khan's critical remarks against his own government over Muzaffarnagar flareup, Mulayam Singh said Samajwadi Party had a democratic set up wherein everybody was free to express his opinion.

"Azam Khan can never be upset with me," Yadav reiterated.

Cabinet minister Azam Khan was earlier reported as saying that the state government didn't act in time which led to Muzaffarnagar flare-up. And then he remained absent from the ongoing SP national executive meeting in Agra.

Reacting to his absence, the SP leaders said he should have either resigned or attended the meeting.

Party's national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav remarked, "It is a national executive meeting and all prominent leaders are present here...he was not here, but it does not make any difference and his absence was not felt."

"With such a behaviour a person lowers his own stature… Either he should not remain the office-bearer and resign or he should have come," Yadav said.

Similar views were expressed by another senior SP leader Naresh Agrawal, who also suggested that if Azam was upset then he should resign.

He said, "No person is larger than the party…Akhilesh is chief minister and Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) is the leader...there is no other bigger leader," he said. Asked whether the party would take a disciplinary action against Khan, Agarwal said it was up to Netaji to decide.

Political observers believe that Azam Khan's anti-government stand and subsequent absence from the Samajwadi Party executive committee meeting at Agra on Wednesday have sent a wrong message down the cadre.


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