The statements made in a press conference on Sunday saw Yadav commenting, "Whenever the BJP has ruled, Muslims have not been exploited. Despite a couple of communal riots, their exploitation has been less."
The comments could not come at a most opportune time than the present when the UP Assembly elections are scheduled to be held next year. The SP chief's statement also indicates the discomfort the party has with the Congress. The SP presently supports the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre from outside.
When asked if the Gujarat riots could be termed as a minor issue in the wake of his comments, Mulayam Singh Yadav stated that he was referring to UP and not the rest of India. He stated, "They (BJP) have created problems in the country. The Gujarat chief minister himself carried out (the 2002) riots as the party thought it was the opportune moment to target Muslims."
On further querying about his ranking the BJP ahead of the Congress, Yadav said that it was because of the SP's strong base in UP that the BJP was acting well with the Muslims and not exploiting them. He added, "But the Congress is arrogant. It is not concerned about our protests. But we will tackle it."