Lakhimpur Kheri: Hitting back at Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Minister Mohd Azam Khan on Friday raked up his puppy remark and said those who have such a mindset for Muslims and are trying to "convert whole of India into Gujarat" cannot rule the country or make it progress.
"Those who call one-fifth population as `puppy` cannot run the country. The country would be run by those, who love all and whom all love," Khan said while addressing a gathering in Mailani town, about 55 kms from here.
He was referring to Modi`s controversial remark on the Gujarat 2002 riots, in which he had said that even if a puppy came under the wheels of his car it would be painful, which was slammed as insensitive by his critics.
Addressing a rally in Bahraich today, Modi had alleged that SP was indulging in corruption while the people of the state were suffering due to lack of infrastructure. Taking a dig, he had said only constituencies of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and his minister Azam Khan were getting uninterrupted power while the other parts were in darkness.
Without naming any party or leader, Khan cautioned against "Gujaratisation" of the country and said "a fascist move is on to make whole of Hindustan as Gujarat."
Advocating a relationship of faith and unity among the people of India, he said, "Those having a religious or casteist mindset and identity can never move forward. Only those who nourish humanity lead the way."
He condemned the Muzaffarnagar riots and expressed concern that certain rioters were still at large.
Apparently perturbed by media`s criticism, the minister said, "TV has assigned to itself all responsibilities; to reform the society, to reform us (politicians), to lead the way to justice and to punish the guilty and I can only thank them." He alleged that a section of electronic media was crossing all limits of civility and decency.
Dismissing allegations that he was communal, the minister said, "I am not communal at all. People may level such baseless allegations, but I promise to quit politics if any of these allegations are proved."
He urged people to vote for Samajwadi Party and its Kheri nominee Ravi Verma. "Congress or BJP or another party of UP has no right to seek the people`s mandate," he said.