Making no effort to conceal his prime ministerial ambitions, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday said the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections were "a matter of honour" for him.
"For the first time I am saying this, the next Lok Sabha election is a matter of my honour," he said while addressing a rally in Jhansi
"The time has come to remove the people who have not ended price rise and starvation in the country. The people must give the SP a chance so that the country progresses," he said.
Citing scams, corruption and issues of external security, Mulayam promised to bring about a political change and called upon the young generation to make the SP successful.
"We are doing politics for the people. The SP is doing politics for the poor, farmers, youth and women," he said.
Slamming the United Progressive Alliance government, he said it was so weak that it has not been able to end starvation despite the abundance of food produced in India.
"It is so unfortunate that despite farmers producing food grain in abundance, deaths are taking place due to starvation. This government cannot feed the people of an agriculture-oriented country. There is no government shameless, weak and lowly than this," he alleged.
Highlighting the contribution of Muslims to the country, Mulayam said minorities should "not be viewed with suspicion".
"Farmers and Muslims have contributed 80 per cent to the development of the country. While farmers increased agricultural produce, Muslims promoted handiwork," he said.
"The clothes we are wearing, 80 per cent of those are made by Muslims. The major contribution in making weapons for the security of the country is that of Muslims. Minorities are being viewed with an eye of suspicion in the country. They should not be viewed in that manner," Mulayam said.
Referring to the Sachar Committee report, the SP supreme said it had stated that the socio-economic condition of Muslims in India was worse than Dalits and recommended special facilities for them.
He also attacked those indulging in politics over the Muzaffarnagar riots, saying a conspiracy to divide the country was being hatched.
He alleged that those “indulging in politics over the riots” were conspirators and no government other than his son Akhilesh Yadav’s regime has helped victims in the country.
Addressing party workers, Mulayam said that they should remember that indisciplined people could never win elections.
"If you have to lodge a complaint then write a letter, but don't maintain indifferences or indiscipline," he said.
Referring to the impoverished Bundelkhand, he said that only SP had worked for the development of the region and recalled how the party persuaded former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to arrange water for the area and make provisions for a special fund.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav laid the foundation of development projects worth Rs 900 crore on the occasion.
"There is not much time left for the Lok Sabha elections. All parties are preparing for that and we have faith in you. After this the samajwadis (socialists) will not get a chance like this," he said.