Mulayam, Modi trade barbs over riots

Mulayam, Modi trade barbs over riots

BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday exchanged barbs in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) with allegations and counter allegations flowing thick and fast.

Mulayam, who addressed a mega rally at Allahabad, questioned Modi’s claims of development in Gujarat. The latter, who addressed a rally in the state capital a little later, came out with point by point rebuttal.

“Why are rivers in Gujarat so polluted if there is development in the state?...50 children and 37 per cent women suffer from malnutrition in Gujarat,” Mulayam said, apparently seeking to puncture the claims of development of Gujarat at his election meetings. Mulayam also alleged that the women faced atrocities in Gujarat.

The SP supremo also referred to the “56 inch ka seena” (chest of 56 inch) remark by Modi. “I had dared to visit Gujarat after the communal riots in 2002 despite denial of security to me by you (Modi)...now tell me whose chest is of 56 inches,” Mulayam asked the Gujarat chief minister.

“You (Modi) are a candidate for the post of prime minister...kindly do not lie,” he said, accusing Modi of spreading falsehood about development in Gujarat.

He again called Modi a “killer of humanity” and blasted the BJP for fomenting communal hatred in the country. “After getting so many people killed in Gujarat the BJP is now seeking forgiveness,” he said.

Modi, in his speech, addressed Mulayam as “Netaji” and said that during his party’s two year rule UP had witnessed 150 communal riots while Gujarat had witnessed not a single incident of communal violence. “Netaji has accepted his defeat....he is now talking of development,” Modi said.

“There is no power in UP...there is reservation in power distribution also...Mulayam’s areas are getting more power...in Gujarat people get round-the-clock power supply,” he claimed.

Modi also referred to the Saifai festival during which Bollywood stars had staged dance shows and said that SP leaders and ministers were enjoying song and dance programmes while children were dying at relief camps in Muzaffarnagar.

“It would have been better if Mulayam had told the people about his party government’s performance in the past two years rather than talking about Gujarat,” Modi added.

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