Congress is in the roots of all the problems: Mulayam Singh
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav holds the Congress Party responsible for most of the ills, including Kashmir, faced by the country.
Former chief minister who commands tremendous respect within the party and outside also made it clear that the naxal issue which has made life miserable in some parts of the country including Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, remains unsolved because developmental efforts were left halfway. Much is still not being done in the naxal-affected areas and, as a result , the groups continue to receive support from the people in those areas.
The party leader also made it clear that as long as he is there the party will not face any crisis. He knows how to keep the flocks together and the house in order. Despite his busy schedule these days because of the upcoming assembly elections in the state, Mulayam Singh spared some time for the newstrack and shared his perspectives on different issues with us in an exclusive interview.
Mulayam Singh on Kashmir issue:
The scenario was not much different in Kashmir when I was the defence minister. But I had managed to make the situation normal in the valley. What I did to make it is also interesting. I talked to all the stake-holders. I had morning tea with Farookh Abdullah and lunch with late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Later I had a talk with the third group. These efforts paid dividend.
The youth in the valley is not finding enough job opportunities and this is one of the reasons why they often launch agitations and disturb peace in the area. Terror groups attract them for the same reason. An empty mind is devil’s workshop. If they are provided jobs neither Indian nor non-Indian terror outfit can lure them away. To his mind ,had pak-occupied Kashmir not been given recognition and Kashmir issue not taken to the UNO , the Kashmir issue would not have become s sour thumb. Once I had asked the then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to offer a solution to the problem. The congress leader kept mum because it was his party which had created it. In fact now it appears that the party, for some reason or the other, did not ever try to find a solution. It can be solved, to my mind, only through talks.
Mulayam Singh on Naxal issue:
The issue has assumed this proportion because proper stress was not put on development of the areas affected by the extremists. No one will take to arms if he is properly looked after—gets his meals, clothes and the like. Development is the key to end this menace. During my tenure as chief minister the issue had cropped up in this state too. I remember when I received reports from some naxal affected parts I sent my secretary Chandrama Yadav to those areas. I learnt from him that they had small demands.
They were asking for roads in some parts and culverts in some others. The youths who had joined the naxal groups were assured that the chief minister was with them and that he was ready to accept all their demands. In some of the areas cultivable lands were forcibly occupied by some powerful people. Owners were thrown out of some of the houses. I solved a major problem by enacting a law that the land belongs to the person who tills it. If somebody has an ancestral property but it has not been registered in his name I ensured that he owns it. The area became trouble free.
On party tussle:
I am the “mukhiya” of the party. I will solve all the issues vexing the party. But I assure you there is no major problem. Minor issues sometime crop up but they are not serious enough to warrant attention. I intervene whenever there are differences or some points are raised. I have a solution to every problem. I will carry the party along, unitedly and peacefully. Rest assured I will soon go on a tour, visit different areas and listen to grievances of the people. Whether it is between Akhilesh and Shivpal or between some others, differences will be sorted out by me. I will be heading the party campaign now and all through the years. The party has a brighter future ahead.