Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
New Delhi: Notwithstanding the criticism, senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, Wednesday, remained defiant over his controversial remark that Muslim soldiers had won the Kargil war for India.
“What are the contributions of Muslims for the country...why can`t we talk about this,” he said.
“My statement on Kargil should be welcomed. What is so wrong about it?” he added.
Khan was defending his earlier statement: "Kargil ki pahadiyon ko fateh karne wale Hindu sainik nahin balki Musalmaan they. (Muslim soldiers conquered the hills of Kargil)".
Khan made the claim while campaigning in Ghaziabad. The constituency in National Capital Region is home to a large number of ex-servicemen and goes to polls tomorrow.
Expectedly, the Samajwadi party has defended Khan. Party heavyweight and Mulayam Singh`s brother Shivpal Yadav said, “Muslims brothers have also sacrificed a lot, when in society it is ignored, people will speak, we are living in democracy.”
Azam Khan`s comment is seen as an clear attempt to polarize votes in favour of the Samajwadi Party. However, his having chosen to create a divide in the most secular of Indian institutions, the armed forces, has been slammed from all sections.
Among the first to slam Azam Khan was former Army chief and BJP candidate from the constituency Gen (Retd) VK Singh. “Indians won the Kargil war, not people from one or another community.”
“Proud of our Army,Muslims have been in forefront of defending country,in Kargil too, but Azam Khan`s comment is deplorable. I think our Army is too great and proud to be affected by comments of people like Azam Khan,” Shahid Siddiqui, former MP, said.
Maulana Khalid Rashid, said, “Army should be kept above politics, would be in best interest of the nation.”
The Election Commission has already taken note of the controversial statement and has sought a recording of the same. The BJP is also up in arms against Khan with a party delegation set to meet the EC, later today, to press for strict action against him..