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UTTAR PRADESH

SP slams Rahul Gandhi’s remarks

Friday 23 March 2007

Special Correspondent

Says he is trying to mislead the Muslim community

Holds Rajiv Gandhi responsible for unlocking of Ram Janmabhumi "Former U.P Chief Minister, former Union Minister also involved"

LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party on Wednesday joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in slamming Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on Babri Masjid demolition.

At his recent roadshow in western Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Gandhi had stated if members of the Nehru-Gandhi family had been in active politics in 1992, the Babri mosque would not have been brought down.

Articulating the Samajwadi Party’s view, Uttar Pradesh Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal told newspersons that by raking up the old issue, Mr. Gandhi had added insult to injury and was trying to mislead the Muslims. Mr. Gandhi had a poor knowledge of history as it was his father, the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was responsible for the unlocking of Ram Janmabhumi in 1986 and the shilanyas (foundation laying ceremony) in 1989.

The Transport Minister said Rajiv Gandhi kicked off the Congress campaign in the 1989 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections from Faizabad by giving a call for "Ram Rajya." The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Bir Bahadur Singh, and the former Union Minister, Arun Nehru, were involved in the gameplan to unlock the disputed complex.

As to who was responsible for the demolition, Mr. Agarwal said the Congress should clarify its position.

See online : The Hindu

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