Facing much criticism over his Jinnah comments, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav stood by his words again on Saturday, telling reporters “why should I say the context? I would say read the books again.”
He was referring to his words during a public meeting in Hardoi on October 31, when he put together the names of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel with Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Yadav had named all the leaders and said they helped India achieve independence and never shied away from any struggle. He had also said the three leaders studied at the same institute for their barristership.
His defence of his comment drew a tweet from Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh, who wrote in Hindi: “The love for Jinnah still remains intact. Akhilesh Yadavji, please tell which history books have to be read – Indian or Pakistani.”
On Yadav’s Jinnah statement last week, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had said “he should apologise to the country for his remarks”, while Singh said that glorifying Jinnah will prove costly to Yadav, as India still considers Jinnah a “villain”.
“The leader of the opposition compared Jinnah with the national hero Sardar Patel. Such shameful and reprehensible statements and such people should be rejected. You must understand their dirty mindset and stay alert from them. For their political interests, they are shaking hands with the mafias,” Adityanath was reported as saying on Saturday.
Meanwhile, UP minister and BJP leader Anand Swaroop Shukla on Saturday told reporters that Yadav should get a narco test done for glorifying Jinnah, and also “go to Pakistan”.
“Those raising ‘zindabad’ slogans in praise of Jinnah, having thoughts and feelings of Jinnah in their mind, have no place in India. They themselves should go to Pakistan. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav making a statement on Muhammad Ali Jinnah is not a common incident… Jinnah is responsible for the division of the country. Jinnah is a villain, who no Indian would like to see or listen to. Akhilesh Yadav must clarify as to under which pressure, greed, is he glorifying Jinnah,” Shukla said. “I want that Akhilesh Yadav to himself come forward, and get his narco test done.”