'Muslims first, govt later'

SP chief pacifies community after senior cops killing

'Muslims first, govt later'

In an apparent damage control exercise after Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari snapped ties from the party over the recent killing of a senior Muslim police officer, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday went all out to appease the community.

“For me your (Muslims) interests come first. The government is a secondary thing,” said Mulayam while speaking at a function organised by Jamiat Ulama Hind’s Uttar Pradesh unit here.

The Samajwadi Party supremo said he would never ‘betray the Muslims, come what may’. “There are 11 Muslim ministers in the UP cabinet. The chief secretary of the state is also a Muslim,” Mulayam added.

He referred to the demand for the release of Muslim youths, who had been lodged in various jails in the state after being charged with terror activities. He said the SP government will make sure that no ‘innocent’ Muslim youth remains in prison.

Mulayam and his party had been criticised by the Muslim organisations for going soft on the sacked UP minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, whose name has cropped up in the killing of DSP Zia-ul-Haq.

Anti-Raja Bhaiya slogans were raised in the meeting while Mulayam was addressing the gathering. The SP supremo chose to ignore the matter and refused to comment on it.
Jamiat chief Syed Arshad Madani said the Muslims wanted peace more than anything else. He was referring to the communal riots in UP in which many lives were lost.

Recurring riots, exit of Bukhari and the DSP’s killing have triggered a sharp resentment among the community in the state and in many parts they have also taken to streets.
Muslims, who constitute around 20 per cent of the state’s electorate, play a decisive role in 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

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