Rajbhar defends Akhilesh’s statements over Jinnah
Express News Service
LUCKNOW: Giving a new flavour to the ongoing controversy stirred by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s statement over Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Suheldev Bharat Samaj Party (SBSP) chief OP Rajbhar on Wednesday added fuel to the fire.
Had Jinnah been made the first Prime Minister of Independent India, the country would not have gone through the vagaries of partition, he said.
Rajbhar made the assertion in a bid to defend Akhilesh Yadav’s statement. Yadav had equated Jinnah with Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, and Jawahar Lal Nehru as freedom fighters of the same ilk, thus giving ammo to the BJP to target him.
It may be recalled that SP and SBSP have stitched an alliance to oust the ruling BJP in the 2022 assembly polls.
While making the statement over Jinnah in Varanasi on Wednesday, Rajbhar substantiated his claim by suggesting to go through the writings and statement of BJP stalwart LK Advani over Jinnah. “Read Advani Ji’s views, read Atal Ji’s views, read the views of country’s other well-wishers on the prospect of Jinnah being made the PM. Why did they praise him?”
Rajbhar was apparently referring to purported statements of Advani over Jinnah in the past after visiting his mausoleum in Karachi in 2005. Advani had to face severe criticism within the party then.
Akhilesh Yadav had made the remark on Jinnah while heaping lavishing praise on Patel on his 146th birth anniversary on October 31, raising many eyebrows.
Addressing a public meeting in Hardoi, the SP leader had said, “Sardar Patel understood the ground and he made decisions accordingly. Hence, he is also known as Iron Man.”
“Sardar Patel, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute and became barristers. They helped (India) get freedom and never backed away from any struggle,” he had said.
Yadav had also referred to the ban imposed on the RSS by Patel, the then home minister, following the assassination of Gandhi in 1948, saying only he could do it.
Reacting sharply to Rajbhar’s statement on Jinnah, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said that since SBSP has tied up with the Samajwadi Party, Rajbhar parrots what Akhilesh Yadav teaches him. “Jinnah was considered a villain in the country. He is considered a villain and will always be a villain for us. If the SP and SBSP believe that they would earn a certain number of votes by praising Jinnah at the time of polls, they are hugely mistaken,” said Tripathi.