SP not averse to BJP leaders: Mulayam
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav launched a counter offensive on Wednesday by declaring that the party was not averse to welcoming more BJP leaders if they gave up their anti-Muslim approach and controversial issues. Manish Chandra Pandey reports.Updated: Feb 18, 2009 21:14 IST
Under pressure on the Kalyan Singh issue, the SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav launched a counter offensive on Wednesday by declaring that the party was not averse to welcoming more BJP leaders if they gave up their anti-Muslim approach and controversial issues.
He said, "In fact, we had given an open offer to Atal Bihari Vajpayeet to join us and we are willing to repeat the same offer to LK Advani or any other senior BJP leader. However, for that to happen the senior BJP leaders would have drop their demand for abrogation of article 370 (uniform civil code), shed their anti-Muslim approach and give up the temple agenda. All those who are willing to do that are welcome," he said. The SP chief made the statement during a media interaction on Wednesday. "We have no problems with Kalyan Singh," the party general secretary Amar Singh emphasized.
Though Mulayam has been stating this in the past also, it gains importance in today's political context.
On being asked about the resentment within the party following the party's overtures towards Kalyan Singh, SP general secretary reiterated, "The party supports secular forces. Kalyan Singh would help us fight communal forces." On the discontent within the party on the issue, he said, "Most of the party leaders are with us on the issue."
He said, "Kalyan Singh was responsible for Babri demolition all right. But, he was only partially responsible. For as soon as the demolition started, Kalyan tendered his resignation as CM. The rest of the structure was demolished when Kalyan was not in power. So, it's unfair to blame him alone. More so now, when he has clearly indicated his desire to finish off the BJP. There is an old principle: Enemy's enemy is a friend."
Party's candidate from Lucknow, Sanjay Dutt, also present during the press meet was asked why he chose to side with a party which is in the dock for being friendly towards a politician responsible for the demolition of Babri mosque.
Before Sanjay Dutt could reply, party chief Mulayam intervened. "It's unfair to address this query to Sanjay."
But Sanjay replied, "I think Kalyan Singh ji has indicated his desire to fight the communal forces. So, for me anyone standing up for secularism is perfectly ok. My father was secular to the core and I too would support anyone who is fighting communal forces."
First Published: Feb 18, 2009 21:13 IST