Mulayam said he was the politician Gujarat's Muslims trusted the most. Taking on BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, Mulayam said Muslim women of Gujarat had shown him their injuries when he visited the state in the aftermath of the 2002 communal riots, for which Modi is still being blamed."The Muslims were brutally killed in Gujarat during Narendra Modi's rule. When I went there after the riots, the Muslim women showed me their injuries. The disturbing scene upset me," the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said.
The SP chief also claimed that the Muslims have always kept faith in him and voted for his party. "The Muslims of Uttar Pradesh have been with me since 1987. We have a 26-year relationship with the community," he said. "I take the community's side because they were subjected to injustice. Many people were killed in riots in Meerut and Moradabad during the Congress party's rule in the state," Mulayam said.
Interestingly, Mulayam's remarks comes at a time when he and his party is being slammed for the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar. The party had largely been insensitive to the sufferings of the riots victims in the relief camps. When complaints poured in about the filthy living conditions in riot relief camps, Mulayam dubbed the victims as 'agents of Congress and BJP'. However, the 'netaji' shamelessly went ahead to defend the party saying, "The situation was brought under control within two days when communal violence started in Muzaffarnagar. So far, the state government has distributed Rs 110 crore to the riot victims. The government has also given them land and jobs. We didn't discriminate in providing assistance. If needed, the government will give them more".
More than 100 incidents of communal violence recorded in Uttar Pradesh since the current SP government came to power in 2012.
BJP hits back at Mulayam
Reacting to Mulayam's comments, the BJP said Mulayam's attack on Modi was a "last ditch effort to polarise voters" in the wake of the SP administration's "failure in Uttar Pradesh".
"If Mulayam saw the injuries of Gujarat riot victims in 2002, why did he keep it a secret for 12 years? The fact is that Mulayam knows that his innings in national politics is over because of the failure of the SP rule in UP. Now he is trying to project the election as a contest between Modi and himself with the hope of polarising Muslim voters in UP," state BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.