UP 2022: Former NDA Member And Current SP Ally Om Prakash Rajbhar Echoes Akhilesh Yadav’s Praise For Jinnah
Rajbhar was in Varanasi on Wednesday, when journalists questioned him about Yadav's remarks on Jinnah.
Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) national president Omprakash Rajbhar came up with a bizarre response when asked about his political ally, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav’s recent praising Jinnah. Rajbhar said that “had Jinnah been made the first Prime Minister of the country, then the country would not have been partitioned.”
Rajbhar was in Varanasi on Wednesday, when journalists questioned him about Jinnah. To this, Rajbhar first got furious at the media for asking this question, but then he too toed a line akin to his ally Akhilesh Yadav, and went on to praise the founder of Pakistan. Not only this, he said that “former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and senior BJP leader LK Advani also used to praise Jinnah, so read their thoughts too, you will also start liking him (Jinnah).”
Blames BJP for the Jinnah feature
At the same time, with regards to the question on Jinnah, Rajbhar said that “you people see Jinnah everywhere. Apart from Jinnah, why don't you people raise the question of inflation? Why don’t you ask questions about the crime that is happening in Yogi Raj? Jinnah is being mentioned because of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). If ‘Hindu-Muslim’ and ‘India-Pakistan’ are removed from the BJP, they have nothing left to say. This is what they bring up before every election.”
On the question of recent reduction in the price of petrol and diesel, Rajbhar said that people have defeated the BJP in the by-elections, following which the prices have come down. “If you want 50 rupees petrol and 40 rupees diesel, then do the work of removing BJP from power in UP, petrol and diesel will be made cheaper after the elections,” he added.
“Fight 10 seats, and win them”, Rajbhar to Owaisi
Talking to the reporters, Om Prakash Rajbhar, when asked about possibly allying with Owaisi after coming together with Akhilesh Yadav, said that “efforts are being made in that direction. But those who want to defeat the BJP should give up the dream of 100 seats, they (AIMIM) should fight on 10 seats and win them. What’s the point if you contest on 100 seats and don't win a single one? I would say that we should fight elections on fewer seats together, there is no problem.”
Why are Akhilesh Yadav and allies praising Jinnah?
In the run up to the upcoming assembly polls in UP, “Jinnah’s Genie” has indeed acquired the political centre stage. While Akhilesh and allies are busy glorifying Jinnah, the BJP and others are taking caustic barbs at those praising him. Earlier, when Akhilesh equated Jinnah to Sardar Patel, Nehru and Gandhi, some BJP leaders accused him of having a “Talibani mindset” and he was even dubbed as “Akhilesh Ali Jinnah”.
Interestingly, while those sympathetic to Akhilesh Yadav came up with clarifications like it was a contextual remark and the SP chief was only stating historical facts, Akhilesh Yadav himself did not try to back off from his stance and put the controversy to rest. When Akhilesh Yadav was asked last week whether he would clarify his statement regarding Jinnah, he outrightly denied. “Why should I clear the context? I want people to read books again,” he said.
Traditionally, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, along with the SP, have been contenders for the Muslim vote bank in the state. In such a situation, with Owaisi’s AIMIM being an added challenge this time, if a major part of Muslim votes goes towards SP, then it will definitely be at the forefront of giving a competition to the BJP.
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