SP chief praises Advani, calls him 'tallest leader'

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s love for the saffron came to the fore once again on Saturday, as he publicly praised on senior BJP leader L K Advani, calling him the country’s “tallest leader.”

“Advaniji desh ke sabse baade neta hain. Woh kabhi jhoot nahin bolte (Advani is the tallest leader in the country. He never lies),” Yadav said at a function here on the occasion of the 103rd birth anniversary of socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia.

“Advani had told me that corruption prevailed in Uttar Pradesh and the law and order situation in the state was not good. I believe him because he never lies,” Yadav said, criticising SP leaders for failing to live up to the expectations of the people.

The SP supremo caused a flutter among BJP leaders here with his remark that Advani and other saffron leaders had told him that they wanted the SP government to “stay and do well” in the state.

Yadav said he will meet Advani again and ask him to identify the corrupt elements in the state. This is not the first instance of Yadav reaching out to the BJP. Yadav had reportedly remarked that he would have no problems in fostering friendly ties with the BJP if the party changed its stand on the Kashmir and the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid issues and its attitude towards the Muslims.

However, his overtures did not go down well with Muslim clerics and “shocked” Muslim leaders of his own party in the state. The Muslim clerics had sought to ask Yadav if he was ready to forgive Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the communal riots there. “Will he also forgive the BJP for the demolition of the Babri Masjid,” they had asked.

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