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Mulayam apologises for aligning with Kalyan
LUCKNOW, JUL 15 (IANS):
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Published on 15 Jul. 2010 11:13 PM IST
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Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav Thursday apologised to Muslims for aligning with former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh, widely seen as a key figure in the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992.
“I must confess that it was a big blunder on my part to have joined hands with certain people who were responsible for the demolition of the Ayodhya mosque,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said in a statement here in an obvious bid to win back his eroded Muslim support base.
The two had joined forces on the eve of the last assembly elections in 2007, but broke up soon after the poll outcome proved the alliance futile.
Attributing his decision to political expediency at that time, he said: “It was with the larger objective of weakening communal forces that I agreed to go hand in hand with them.”
“Since my decision has hurt the sentiments of Muslims, I wish to assure them that I will never repeat such a mistake in future and will never have anything whatsoever to do with those responsible for the demolition of the Babri mosque.”
He said: “I am fully committed to fighting for their cause and would continue to do so for all times to come.”
Simultaneously, the Samajwadi Party chief did not miss the opportunity to remind Muslims of how he was instrumental in “protecting” the Babri mosque when it was stormed by violent Hindu mobs while he was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister in 1990.
“It was a pity that the mosque was pulled down Dec 6, 1992, during a BJP regime in the state,” he lamented.
Mulayam Singh chose to avoid mentioning the name of Kalyan Singh, whom he preferred to refer to as the “then chief minister”.
The public apology is also seen as Mulayam Singh’s bid to get his one-time close confidante Azam Khan back into the party fold, as the latter had marched off essentially on account of the sudden proximity between him and Kalyan Singh.
Even though Mulayam Singh dumped Kalyan Singh shortly after the outcome of the poll, Azam Khan refused to return to the Samajwadi Party.
Reacting to Mulayam Singh’s move now, Khan told reporters in Rampur: “I must first see whether this is just a political statement or he actually means it.”

 
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