Lashing out at the Akhilesh Yadav government over Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert in Lucknow, the Shiv Sena on Monday branded Uttar Pradesh as an “Islamic state” and alleged that the state government has begun “anti-national business” for appeasement politics.
The ruling ally also took a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party for being a “mute spectator” to the event, and demanded that those who allowed the concert to take place should be booked for anti-national activities.
“The ‘Islamic Yadav’ government says that Ghulam Ali was invited to perform to promote Hindu-Muslim unity. But, to promote unity, why does one need Pakistani artistes only? There are fine Muslim artistes in the country who are famous,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
“Keeping the upcoming assembly polls in mind, the Yadav government has started an anti-national business (of inviting Pakistani artistes) to play appeasement politics,” it alleged.
Lashing out further at the UP government, it said, “Uttar Pradesh is a mine of fine artistes, but (Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh) Yadav is only interested in coal from Pakistan,” and added that tomorrow Yadav may invite Hafiz Saeed to appease the minority community.
“People who feel that the Pathankot terror attack should be forgotten and Ghulam Ali should be allowed to perform are traitors of the country. If Ghulam Ali is allowed to perform amidst the wails of the family of the martyred jawans, then people responsible (for giving permission to perform) should be booked for anti-national activities,” it said.
Taking a jibe at the BJP, the Sena sought to know if the party bagged 71 seats in the UP Lok Sabha polls to remain mute spectator to Ghulam Ali’s performance.
“This is bizarre. On one hand Islamic State is troubling the Indian government, on the other the Yadavs have turned UP into an Islamic state and welcomed Ghulam Ali,” it said.
Ghulam Ali on Sunday regaled the audience with his popular numbers on the concluding day of Lucknow Mahotsava.
His performance went off peacefully despite threats by Shiv Sena, which had forced cancellation of his concert in Mumbai last year.
Image: Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali with son Aamir Ali performs in Lucknow on Sunday. Photograph: PTI