Lucknow: Almost 25 years after he ordered firing on 'karsewaks' in Ayodhya, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has said that the decision was 'very painful' and he 'felt sad' about the incident.
Addressing party workers in Lucknow on occasion of birth anniversary of socialist leader Karpoori Thakur, Yadav, however, said that he had had no other option as it was necessary to save the religious place.
"I feel sad for firing on 'karsewaks' but it was necessary to save the religious place (Babri Mosque)," Yadav said yesterday.
The 1990 firing on 'karsewaks' in Ayodhya had killed 16 people. The incident had earned the then chief minister the sobriquet of 'Mulla Mulayam' and the unflinching loyalty of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.
Yadav also said when the then Leader of Opposition Atal Bihari Vajpayee had mentioned the incident in Parliament, he had replied that it was 'necessary to order firing'.
"He would have not considered his decision, if more lives would have gone to save the religious place," he said, mentioning his replying in Parliament.
Yadav had earlier admitted that he lost Hindu votes after he ordered security forces to open fire on 'karsewaks' in Ayodhya.