Azam Khan skips Agra meet; SP downplays, cautions against communalism
Agra: SP`s Muslim face Mohammad Azam Khan, a senior UP minister who had criticised his own government`s handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots, Wednesday, skipped the party`s executive meet even as it asked people to remain alert to attempts to recreate such incidents ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
The ruling Samajwadi Party(SP) sought to downplay the absence of the Minority Affairs minister that has fuelled speculation of a rift in the party, saying it did not make any difference to it. The SP has come under all-round attack over its handling of the communal riots that has claimed 40 lives.
"106 members hain, 26 nahi aaye to kya fark padta hai (There are 106 national executive members, 26 were absent from the meet...It doesn`t matter)," SP National General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav told reporters when asked about Azam`s absence at the meet convened to work out strategies for the 2014 general elections.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav alleged that taking advantage of the situation in Muzaffarnagar the fire of communalism was being stoked in adjoining areas.
"If we do not remain alert that such incidents will be repeated, because some people on whom the people of Uttar Pradesh did not trust will try to take advantage," he said addressing the two-day meet.
"We will not let this happen irrespective of the biggest sacrifice we need to make," he added.
A resolution adopted at the meet said in view of the upcoming general elections the BJP with the help of its associate organisations was allegedly trying to flare communal passion across the country.
"Recently under cover of VHP communal organisations like BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal tried to damage communal harmony in Uttar Pradesh in the name of Chaurasi Kosi parikrama," it alleged.
Asked if SP will support Congress again for formation of the government at the Centre, he said it was a hypothetical question and he would not like to comment.
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