LUCKNOW: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati on Wednesday said that the order by the Noida police barring Muslims from offering namaz at a community park was "discriminatory and irresponsible," and was aimed at hiding the BJP government's failures ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In a statement, Mayawati said that if the Yogi Adityanath government has any policy that bars religious gatherings at public spaces, it should be implemented across the state and must be binding on people of all religions.
"If namaz was being offered in the said park in Sector 58 since 2013, why is it being stopped now, just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections? It is but natural to raise questions on the BJP government's intentions and deem that it is indulging in religious discrimination.
"It also gives rise to suspicions that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is creating religious disputes to hide its failures and divert people's attention. This is condemnable. The BJP has been exposed," Mayawati said.
Her statement comes a day after the police ordered offices and establishments in Noida to direct their Muslim employees to stop offering Friday prayers in open areas such as parks.
The police notice read: "We want to inform you that there is no permission from the administration to conduct any kind of religious activity including offering namaz on Friday in the Authority park in sector 58."
"It is expected of you to inform your Muslim employees to not come to the park to offer namaz. If employees of your company come to the park, it will be assumed that you have not informed your employees and your company will be held liable," the statement added.