Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday bracketed Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah with Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, saying they all fought for India's independence.
"Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah studied in the same institute. They became barristers and fought for India's freedom," ANI quoted Akhilesh Yadav as saying at a public rally in Uttar Pradesh's Hardoi.
"It was Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who imposed a ban on an ideology," Akhilesh Yadav said, in a veiled allusion to the RSS.
Akhilesh also did not spare former allies, the Congress, saying there is no difference between the grand old party and the BJP. "Investigation of ED and CBI that is going on against us and other leaders is because of the Congress only. There is no difference between them (the BJP and the Congress). The Congress is the BJP and the BJP is the Congress," ANI quoted him as saying.
Reacting to the outburst, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, "Mulayam Singh ji will also hold his head after hearing this from Akhilesh Yadav, who has studied in Australia. The country considers Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the villain of the partition. Calling Jinnah the hero of freedom struggle is the politics of Muslim appeasement."
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