Stoking a controversy, Yadav claimed yesterday that no riot victim was left in the relief camps and only political activists of Congress and BJP were staying there as part of a conspiracy to tarnish the image of his party's government in Uttar Pradesh.
"Statement was an "irresponsible" attempt to shun responsibility"
BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the remarks showed the "mentality" of the SP leaders who accuse it of being communal. "The SP government says the affected are not riot victims but are of a political party. Then you (SP) should identify them. This is a tamasha (drama) of playing with the sentiments of the dead and accusing BJP of doing so," Naqvi told reporters in Delhi.
"SP, in the name of secularism, is playing politics. Instead of applying balm on the wounds of the affected, they are hurting them by pricking needles on their wounds. This shows their mentality," he said. Muslims clerics while slamming Yadav's statement said it was "irresponsible" and that the issue of relief camps had been given a "political colour".
"The statement is politically motivated and he (Mulayam) wants to give this issue a political colour," General Secretary All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Nizamuddin told PTI in Lucknow over phone.
"Those living in camps are scared which is why they did not want to return to their homes. They did not have anything to do with politics. Had this been the case, they would not have been forced to leave their home. Such statements harm them," he said.
Shahi Imam, Delhi Jama Masjid Maulana Ahmad Bukhari, said the statement was an "irresponsible" attempt to shun responsibility.
"I had sent one of my associates to the relief camp last Sunday. It is not true that there are no riot victims in the camps," Bukhari said. Terming the statement as "highly irresponsible", All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesman Yasoob Abbas said if Yadav felt there were no riot victims living in the camps, he should inquire into the matter.
Abbas said the government should try to take those living in the camps in confidence and not indulge in politics in this matter. BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria slammed the remarks as "very shameful".