“His rath yatra left behind a trail of bloodshed”

Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Azam Khan on Tuesday again targeted Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.

For the second day in succession, the State Urban Development Minister slammed Mr. Advani for his role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid, saying that he was “an accused in the Babri demolition case.” The Samajwadi Party president, while referring to the BJP leader’s mention of corruption in U.P., had praised Mr. Advani as a “senior leader who never lies and always spoke the truth,” at a function to commemorate the 103rd birth anniversary of Ram Manohar Lohia here on Saturday.

Talking to reporters in his home town, Rampur, Mr. Khan said the rath yatra taken out by Mr. Advani (in 1990) had left behind a trail of violence and bloodshed in the country. However, when it was pointed out that Mr. Advani had been praised by Mr. Mulayam Singh, the Minister said that he was not aware in what context it was said.

In Budaun on Monday, Mr. Khan reportedly termed Mr. Advani as a leader of “weak character.” He said the veteran BJP leader was an “accused in the Babri demolition case and pays obeisance at the grave of Mohammad Ali Jinnah [in Karachi] and calls him a secular leader.”

Senior BJP leader and MLA from Lucknow East, Kalraj Mishra, said: “Mr. Advani does not need anyone’s certificate.”

Stating that Mr. Mulayam Singh’s praise for the veteran BJP leader was an attempt to divert people’s attention from the failures of the Samajwadi Party government, Mr. Mishra dismissed the possibility of the BJP and the NDA wooing the SP. Talking to journalists at the BJP headquarters here on Tuesday, Mr. Mishra attacked the ruling party of giving conflicting signals.

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