Modi’s hands are soaked in blood, says Azam Khan in UP
Jalalabad: A sizeable crowd was getting restless waiting for Samjawadi Party’s fire brand Muslim leader Azam Khan’s arrival at 4:20 pm on Tuesday, just 40 minutes before the scheduled end of campaigning. They were waiting since 11 am for what was to be the last speech before polling on 10 April. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity, multiple people got off the dais as the sound of blaring sirens drew closer and Khan arrived at the venue. He briskly walked on to the podium, and asked some leaders to get off the dais or vacate the front rows so that the audience from all sides in an open field had a clear view of him. Over 90 percent of his audience were from the Muslim community. Khan didn’t waste more than two minutes to come to the point and hit out at opponents in a speech that could either be classified as a hate or impassioned speech, depending on which side of the political divide you stand. It’s more a speech meant to rouse a community than an election speech.
Modi the darinda (demon) and Amit Shah the Mahagunda (the biggest goon) were the figures around whom 80 percent of his speech was centred. The remainder of it was used to launch a blistering attack on Nehru-Gandhi family and the national media, particularly the news channels. This was Khan’s first visit to the Muzaffarnagar riot affected areas. He had been the minister-in charge of this region when the riots took place. “The media asks me why I didn’t visit Muzaffarnagar after the riots? There are seven notices of the apex court on fictitious accusations against me that are pending. If I am not cleared of these charges, I will be finished because these are Supreme Court notices, for which which there is no other appellate authority. Muzaffarnagar lives in my heart and my soul lives in there,” he said. Shamli, one of the worst affected areas by the riots, lies in the Kairana parliamentary constituency. BJP’s UP legislative party leader and MLA from the region, Hukum Singh, whose name figured in the initial list of accused in riots, is the BJP candidate. Pitted against him are two Muslim candidates from the same family, Kanwar Hasan from the BSP and Nahid Munnawar Hasan from the SP. “The issue today is will you give reigns of Hindustan to a person whose hands are soaked with blood. Usko darinda kehna bilkul sahi hai (it’s perfectly correct appropriate to call him a demon),” Khan said. “You (Muslims) constitute one fifth of the population. You can’t be the badshah but no one could become badshah without your blessings. Modi calls us, this one fifth of the population, kutte ka pilla (puppy). Kya electronic media ek hatyare ko badshah banayega? (will the electronic media make this murderer an emperor),” he asked “Inteqaam ki aag ko apne dil me jagaye rakho. Us se inteqaam lo jo tumhe kutte ka pilla kehta hai. Pehle zaalim se zulm ka badla lena hai, cycle par button daba kar. Hindustan ko kasai ke haath nahi doge. Secular rakhoge (Keep the fire of revenge aflame in your heart. Take revenge against the one who calls you a puppy. First you must take revenge by pressing the button against the symbol of the cycle. Don’t give India into the hands of a butcher. You have to ensure the India remains secular),” Khan said. “For that you, the one-fifth will have to understand your power, the power of unity. If you get divided you can’t accomplish the task,” he said. Referring to the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, who appealed to Muslims to vote for the Congress after meeting Sonia Gandhi, Khan said he was a thug sitting in Delhi and narrated the various shifts in stance the religious leader had made over the years. The senior Samajwadi Party leader also contrasted the hanging of Afzal Guru with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to commute the death sentences of the assassins of Rajiv Gandhi and Devinder Bhullar. “Tumhe insaaf ki had kya hogi yeh tai karna hoga (you will have to decide what would be limits of justice) But then the Almighty has his system of delivering the justice,” Khan said. “If innocents were butchered in Gujarat then there was an earthquake there and death came from beneath the earth for many. That was God’s sense of justice,” he said. “Sanjay Gandhi went on with his nasbandi scheme and how did he die? He took off alive and landed dead. What happened to those who laid the foundation stone of Ram temple at Babri Mosque? None of their family members died a natural death. Yeh Allah ka inteqaam hai,” Khan said. The Samajwadi Party leader took on the news channels for their coverage of the Muzaffarnagar riots. “They (media) claim to be sympathisers of the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots. They showed bodies of those who died in riots but didn’t show those who killed them. They reported the rapes, but didn’t show the rapists. They showed burnt houses, but didn’t show who burnt them. If they had shown it all, their own true faces would have come out,” he said. “Amit Shah is not just a goonda but is mahagoonda. The Supreme Court has barred him from entering the state. And this media calls me foul mouthed,” he said. The Samajwadi Party leader had the audience up on its feet by the end of his speech, applauding as he left. Khan’s speech was rather similar to that of Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh who was in Shamli just a day earlier. Singh alleged the Muzaffarnagar riots were masterminded by Modi and Amit Shah was only acting on his instructions to instigate the riots. “Shah should be thrown into a sea. If Modi comes to power there would be a catastrophe. Western Uttar Pradesh will burn. There would be riots everyday,” Singh said. “The jobs he promises you and development he makes you believe in is a mirage. This can only be done by the state government and will be done when I along with Congress come to power in UP in 2017. Right now this is parliament election,” the RLD chief said. Modi, the riot mastermind has to be stopped, he said. Despite being from political parties that are rivals, both Singh and Khan seem to have to found a common ground. Both want to turn Modi into a hate figure for their supporters and polarise votes in Uttar Pradesh. 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