Secularism takes centre stage in pre-poll UP as parties slug it out

Mar 03 2014, 01:12 IST
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Narendra Modi attacked the SP, BSP and Congress, saying the parties had been misleading the people. Reuters Narendra Modi attacked the SP, BSP and Congress, saying the parties had been misleading the people. Reuters
SummaryNarendra Modi attacked the SP, BSP and Congress, saying the parties had been misleading the people...

Uttar Pradesh saw three rallies on Sunday. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi attacked the SP, BSP and Congress, saying the parties had been misleading the people in the name of secularism. Speaking in Lucknow, Modi asked SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to explain why so many riots had taken place in the state. “In the past one year of your son’s (Akhilesh Yadav) rule, more than 150 riots have taken place in UP, while there was not even a single riot in Gujarat in the last 10 years. Not even a curfew was clamped there,” he said.

Mulayam Yadav hit back in Allahabad, saying Modi had presided over “mass murder” of Muslims during the 2002 riots and that the BJP was trying to hoodwink them by talking of an apology. He also dismissed as “baseless propaganda” the Gujarat CM’s development claims.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal too latched on to the development claims, saying he would visit Gujarat to see the situation on the ground.

Kejriwal also accused Modi of being in cahoots with business barons, while attacking the SP for communal violence in the state. Targeting Mayawati’s BSP, he said voting for it is a waste because it amounts to voting for Modi. The AAP, he said, would win 100 Lok Sabha seats, and no government could be formed without the AAP’s help.

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