Uttar Pradesh urban development minister Azam Khan was not complimenting the BSP chief Mayawati, when he compared her with the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan at a function in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. On the contrary, the SP minister was trying to emphasise the former UP chief minister’s “excesses”.
“Shah Jahan shouldn’t have wasted public money on building the Taj Mahal and Mayawati should not have spent public money to build stone elephants. Public money is not meant to be spent to indulge in personal whims and fancies,” Khan said.
Backing his argument, Khan, who is known to be close to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, added that it would not have mattered had the 17th century monument been torn down by those who demolished “a mosque” — a reference to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
The Maya-bashing did not end there.
While interacting with school girls at the event, the minister said, “The government is giving assistance to girls because we care. Study hard and realise your dreams, but whatever you do, please do not become another Mayawati.”
Khan, who was distributing cheques to beneficiaries under various government schemes at a school in Muzaffarnagar, took care to underscore the efforts of the Akhilesh Yadav government, which “was using money for public welfare”.
Khan’s comments drew a sharp reaction from the BSP.
“Azam Khan has lost his mental balance. Mayawati is an inspiration to millions who have struggled hard to reach the top. It seems he has little respect for leaders of the opposition parties,” said BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
Maurya also demanded an apology from Khan for his controversial remarks.