In an attempt to mend fences with Muslims after having aligned with Kalyan Singh during Lok Sabha polls, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday regretted taking support of those "responsible" for the Babri mosque demolition and sought pardon of the community.
"In the last Lok Sabha polls, I had to take support of some 'galat tatva' (wrong elements) to keep communal forces at bay from forming government at the Centre. This confused the secular forces especially my Muslim brothers and their feelings were hurt.I accept my mistake and seek pardon of the Muslim community for my act", he said in a statement in Lucknow.
He said, "I have already made public statement that I will never take support of those responsible for the Babri mosque demolition in the future".
"I want to assure my Muslim brothers that whatever I have done will not be repeated and I will continue to raise voice in favour of the Muslim community", Yadav, whose Muslim vote bank eroded in the last election, said.
Yadav said that his life was an open book of struggle against communal forces.
"I always took initiatives to defeat communal forces and did my duty", he said, adding that in 1990 as a Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he took all the measures to save Babri mosque in Ayodhya.
However, on December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished during the leadership of the then Chief Minister, who also was held responsible for the act, Yadav said, in an obvious reference to Kalyan Singh, who had quit BJP last year.
The SP, which had won only 23 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, had accepted that it core Muslim voters had drifted to others parties.