BJP today slammed controversial Samajwadi Party leader Atiq Ahmed for calling Muzaffarnagar riot victims "professional beggars", and said party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav failed to instill a sense of decency and responsibility among cadres.
Ahmed, who is facing several criminal cases, today said that those living in the camps were "professional beggars".
"Politics of communal polarisation appears to be in the DNA of Samajwadi Party, which is planning to give a Lok Sabha ticket to history-sheeter Atiq Ahmed.
"BJP strongly condemns his statement on Muzaffarnagar riot victims, though such an utterance is highly surprising from someone with criminal background," senior BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said here.
Ahmed, who was recently re-inducted into SP, five years after being expelled for alleged anti-party activities, is seen as a likely candidate from Shravasti Lok Sabha constituency.
A former MP from Phulpur, Ahmed has been in news in connection with the murder of BSP MLA Raju Pal, who was shot dead here on January 25, 2005.
Both Ahmed and his younger brother Ashraf have been named as prime accused in the case.
"This is not the first time that an SP leader has spoken insensitively about the riot victims from Muzaffarnagar," Singh said.
"What is even more troubling is that there seems to be no attempt by party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav or his son Akhilesh who has been the Chief Minister for two years to instill a sense of responsibility and decency among those associated with the ruling party," the BJP leader added.