Zee Media Bureau
Agra: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday denied reports that Uttar Pradesh Minorities Affairs Minister Azam Khan was upset with the Ahilesh Yadav government`s handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots.
Addressing a press conference in Agra, the SP chief said, "Azam Khan can never be upset with me. He is not angry with me."
Mulayam went on to say, "It`s possible that Khan didn`t turn up at Agra conclave due to some prior engagement."
When quizzed by the reporters that Azam Khan`s absence in the party`s national executive meeting clearly indicated that he was upset, SP chief said, "I am the party president and he is a minister, so you better ask the CM as to why Khan did not attend cabinet meet."
Mulayam also blamed the Opposition parties for sowing the seeds of mistrust and playing politics over the issue.
He also assured that justice will be served to those affected by the riots and the perpetrators will soon be brought to justice.
"We will take strict action against culprits. We have arrested many such elements. Swift action has been taken in Muzaffarnagar, you know how many arrests have taken place so far," he said.
Linking the violence to the rise of BJP`s Narendra Modi, Mulayam said, "Justice was not served in Gujarat after the riots there, but it will be certainly delivered in UP."
On the issue of support to Congress, the SP chief said, "Our support for Congress government is issue-based. We are not supporting Congress on everything."
The SP patriarch exuded confidence that his party will win maximum number of seats in the upcoming elections.
He made these remarks after the conclusion of party`s two-day long national executive meeting in the Taj city to chalk out party`s strategy for the upcoming polls.
In a clear sign of tension within the party, top Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders today demanded disciplinary action against Azam Khan – a prominent Muslim face and a powerful politician – for criticising the Akhilesh Yadav government over its inept handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots.
On Thursday, top SP leaders, including Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Aggarwal, demanded that party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav should take immediate action against Khan, who skipped the party`s national executive meet in Agra that concludes today.
Reacting to Khan`s criticism of the Akhilesh government, Ram Gopal Yadav said, "Azam Khan should understand the dignity of his post."
Hitting out at Khan, Ram Gopal said, " If he doesn`t understand the dignity of his post, he may resign."
Endorsing Ram Gopal Yadav`s view, SP MP in Lok Sabha Naresh Aggarwal said, "SP chief should take urgent action against Khan as nobody is above the party."
"If we give leverage to one, others will also expect such leniency in future," Aggarwal said.