Shahid Siddqui hits back at SP; would “fight” for Muslims killed in Gujarat riots



New Delhi: Hours after being ignominiously discarded over his interview of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a disgruntled Shahid Siddqui on Saturday hit back at the Samajwadi Party (SP), claiming that his “fight” would go on till the Muslims killed in the 2002 Gujarat pogrom get justice.

In an exclusive interaction, the former SP leader rued, “I created the term Mullah Mulayam. I’ve defended SP on every platform for the last eight years.”

Defending Nai Duniya, the six-page Urdu weekly that Siddqui edits which carried the controversial Modi interview, he said, “Samajwadi Party has been in existence for 20 years, my paper is in circulation for last 60 years.”

“When I take an interview, I act as a journalist, not as a political leader,” Siddqui clarified, defending his journalistic privilege.

Earlier in the day, SP “disowned” Siddqui with repeated appeals to media to not to portray him as a member of the party.

Siddiqui had recently interviewed Narendra Modi, wherein the latter said that he was ready to be hanged if he was proven guilty in the 2002 riots case.

In the cover page story, Siddiqui writes that the decision to interview Modi came after a luncheon meeting in Mumbai with two Bollywood celebrities'' filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and celebrated script writer Salim Khan.

Siddiqui said he was not satisfied with Modi''s reply. He said that Modi tried to remove the bloody stain of the Godhra riots by giving the interview.

Siddiqui began his political career with the Congress party and was the head of its Minority Cell from 1997 to 1999. Later, he joined the SP and was its national general secretary from 2002 to 2008.

He was a Rajya Sabha member till he quit the SP on July 19, 2008 and joined the BSP.

He contested 2009 Lok Sabha polls on the BSP ticket but was expelled from the party on December 14, 2009 for speaking against Mayawati.

Siddiqui joined the RLD in April 2010 but before the UP assembly elections, he resigned from the RLD to protest its alliance with the Congress party and returned to the SP.

ANI