With the Samajwadi Party government drawing flak from Opposition parties over the plight of Muzaffarnagar riot victims, Mulayam Singh on Saturday derided attempts to politicise the issue.

The Samajwadi Party supremo likened the politics over Muzaffarnagar to a conspiracy to divide society even as he expressed grief over the riot. Addressing the party’s ‘Desh bachao desh banao’ rally at the GIC ground in Jhansi on Saturday, Mr. Singh was quick to mention the quantum of assistance given by the State government to displaced riot victims from the Muslim community. The financial help provided was the first of its kind since Independence, he said. While the party was trying to forge unity, forces were at work to divide society, he said.

Alleging that some forces were “anti-Muslim”, he mentioned observations made in the Sachar Committee report about the socio-economic condition of Muslims to underscore the welfare measures launched by the State government for the community. He said no other State had provided so many facilities to Muslims.

He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of hatching a conspiracy to divide Hindus and Muslims. Mr. Singh slammed the Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, without naming him, for saying he wanted to make Uttar Pradesh like Gujarat. The Samajwadi Party would chase him away if he tried to do so, he said.

He said the Gujarat Chief Minister was essentially a “media creation”, and his charisma was on the wane. Without naming the Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, who visited Muzaffarnagar last month, Mr. Singh assailed him for claiming that the riot was the handiwork of the SP and the BJP.

The Samajwadi Party president hailed the CBI for giving him and his son a clean chit in the disproportionate assets case. He said he was relieved on being declared innocent. His opponents tried their best to nail him in the case.

Mr. Singh reiterated that neither the Congress nor the BJP would win a majority in the general election.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav laid the foundation for development schemes worth Rs. 900 crore for Bundelkhand.