SP Muslim leader says he is BJP's 'item girl'

SP Muslim leader says he is BJP's 'item girl'

Azam Khan

Firebrand Samajwadi Party (SP) Muslim leader Azam Khan on Wednesday said that he was an "item girl" for the BJP and that the saffron party often used his name for gaining political mileage during elections.

"BJP often uses my name in the elections to polarise voters... I am like the party's item girl," Khan said, addressing a gathering of the Muslim coomunity in Uttar Pradesh's Badayun district, about 300 km from here.

He said he expected this to repeat ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

Khan decried saffron leaders for speaking on the Ram Temple issue despite the fact that the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. "Every one should wait for the verdict of the apex court," he said.

Khan, however, said there are some forces who do not want to wait for the court verdict and are eager to construct a temple on the disputed land. "These are the same forces who had demolished the Babri Masjid in 1992," he said.

The SP leader also lashed at BJP leaders for terming Muslims the "children" of Babar, the first Mughal emperor.

"The Muslims who chose to stay in the country after the partition in 1947 consider India their motherland... it is not correct to doubt their integrity and patriotism," he said.

Khan said there will be a grand alliance of the minorities, Scheduled Castes and other backward communities in the next polls to counter the BJP.

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