LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his Indonesia and Malaysia visits during the month of Ramzan asking whether the tour was aimed at "international appeasement" of the minority community, a comment promptly trashed by the BJP.
Speaking to PTI, Yadav also claimed that people of not just Uttar Pradesh but the entire country were upset with the BJP which apart from making promises had done "nothing else".
"Bhookhe pet na hot Bhajan Gopala (Even prayers to the Lord can't be sung on an empty stomach)," the former chief minister said taking another dig on the saffron party to press home his point that issues of hunger were often more important to people than even religious matters.
Yadav said the people had realised that the BJP does not mean business.
"The BJP should learn to face defeats or else they will be not be able to digest the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which the opposition will stage a comeback," he claimed.
Attacking the BJP, which has often accused SP of playing politics of minority appeasement, the Samajwadi Party chief said, "Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says he does not celebrate Eid as he is a Hindu. The BJP charges us with practising Muslim appeasement. Modi has just visited Indonesia and Malaysia during the month of Ramzan. Is it an attempt towards international appeasement of the Muslims?" However, the former chief minister's jibe soon attracted a sharp retort from the BJP.
"A person who could not save his government in the state cannot understand international policies and politics," BJP spokesperson Shalabh Mani Tripathi said.
"It is because of Prime Minister Modi that our country is being recognised as a 'vishwa guru' (world leader)), Tripathi added.
"While a temple is (being) constructed in Dubai, Pakistan is being side-lined at the international level, because of our PM," the BJP spokesperson said.
Tripathi advised the SP chief to "widen his thoughts" for better understanding of international politics.
"He should shun his narrow thoughts rather he should widen his thoughts so that he understands international politics better," he said. The image of our country has got a boost in the Modi regime and Yadav cannot dub it as 'Muslim appeasement', the BJP spokesperson remarked.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was for the first time on an official visit to Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation - last month.
Modi also visited Indonesia's grand Istiqlal Mosque, the largest in southeast Asia, with President Joko Widodo.
Indonesia is not only the world's most populous Muslim country, followed by India, but the third largest democracy.
Hindus comprise two per cent of Indonesia's population and form close to a 90 per cent majority on the island of Bali.