'Partition would not have happened if Jinnah...' UP party stokes controversy

Updated on Nov 10, 2021 08:14 PM IST

"Had Jinnah been made the first prime minister, the partition of the country would not have happened," news agency PTI quoted Rajbhar as telling reporters in Varanasi.

Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar. (PTI file photo)
Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar. (PTI file photo)
Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Wednesday gave fuel to a controversy after he said there would have been "no partition" if Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had been made the first prime minister of India. His remarks came days after his poll ally Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi party supremo, made headlines for speaking about Jinnah in the same breath as Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru as freedom fighters.

"Had Jinnah been made the first prime minister, the partition of the country would not have happened," news agency PTI quoted Rajbhar as telling reporters in Varanasi.

Akhilesh Yadav's remarks on similar lines led many in the Bharatiya Janata Party to raise eyebrows a few days ago. Speaking on the criticism received by Yadav, Rajbhar suggested that former Deputy prime minister L K Advani too had similar views about Jinnah.

Also read | Ahead of UP polls, SP chief Akhilesh's Jinnah remark triggers political row

Reacting to Om Prakash Rajbhar's remarks, Union minister Anurag Thakur said, "Politics of appeasement start when polls come; some start chanting Jinnah's name. SP-BSP leaders were in closed rooms and traveling abroad for the past four-and-a-half years. The public remembers the Yogi government for its honesty, work and courage." The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are due early next year.

"Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute and became barristers. They helped (India) get freedom and never backed away from any struggle," Yadav said on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 146th birth anniversary on October 31.

Reacting to Yadav’s statement on Jinnah, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said Jinnah was considered a villain in the country and those who are trying to use his name will not get any benefit.

Yadav announced a poll alliance with Rajbhar's party on October 27 for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election. 

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