After 25 yrs, Mulayam regrets killing of 21 karsevaks

After 25 yrs, Mulayam regrets killing of 21 karsevaks

After 25 yrs, Mulayam regrets killing of 21 karsevaks

Almost 25 years after ordering firing on karsevaks at Ayodhya to prevent them from demolishing the disputed structure in which 21 of them were killed, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, expressed conditional regret over the incident.

Speaking at a meeting here on Sunday, Mulayam said he regretted the deaths of karsevaks at Ayodhya. “I feel sad...but I would have saved the structure even if it would have resulted in more deaths,” Mulayam said while addressing a gathering of party workers on the occasion of the birth anniversary of socialist leader Karpoori Thakur here.

As many as 21 karsevaks were killed in the firing by the security personnel at Ayodhya in 1990. While the karsevaks had declared that they would perform a symbolic karseva at the disputed site, the administration ordered firing apprehending that they could demolish the structure.

The BJP on Monday demanded an apology from Mulayam for ordering the firing. “Mulayam should apologise to the families of the karsevaks, who had been killed in the firing,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak here said.

Mulayam’s remarks assume significance as the next Assembly elections were due in the state in early 2017. “Quite clearly, the remarks are aimed at reassuring the Muslim community that he (Mulayam) is committed to safeguard its interests,” remarked a senior state BJP leader.

Polls on horizon

Support of the muslims was crucial for the SP in the next Assembly polls if it were to nurture any dream of returning to power in the state. “Now that it has become a certainty that the SP will not be part of any anti-BJP alliance and with the efforts to form a grand alliance in the UP on the lines of Bihar, Mulayam feels that his muslim vote bank may face erosion,” the leader added.

The vexed Ram Temple issue could once again hog the limelight in the run up to the Assembly polls if the activities at the workshop of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) at Ayodhya were any indication. Amid arrival of truckload of stones at the workshop, the VHP affiliated saints claimed that they had the blessings of the BJP on Ram Temple construction.