<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday justified his order to open fire on karsevaks marching towards Ayodhya in 1990, saying if even more people were required to be killed for the sake of country’s unity and integrity, the security forces would have done it.”Desh ki ekta ke liye aur bhi maarna padta toh suraksha bal maartey (if even more people were required to be killed for the sake of country’s unity and integrity, the security forces would have done it),” he said.He was speaking at an event to celebrate his 79th birthday at the party headquarters in Lucknow.The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said 28 people lost their lives in the police firing at Ayodhya on 30 October, 1990.Over one lakh kar sevaks from across the country had assembled in Ayodhya for the construction of a temple at the disputed Ram Janmaabhoomi-Babri Mosque site when Mulayam, as the state’s Chief Minister, had ordered the firing to stop them from proceeding.The firing had earned him the nickname of ‘Mullah Mulayam’ and established him as a leader sympathetic to Muslims, which accounts for nearly 20 per cent of UP’s population. The community has since been considered his party’s voter base along with the influential Yadav caste.Justifying his action to save the Babri Masjid, which was ultimately demolished on December 6, 1992, Mulayam said, “A number of Muslims had taken up arms saying if their place of worship ceased to exist, then what would remain in the country.”Yadav said that during a discussion with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister had claimed that 56 persons were killed in Ayodhya.”I had arguments with him. In reality 28 were killed. I came to know the toll six months later and I helped them in my own way,” he said.Mulayam claimed that the Samajwadi Party still enjoyed the support of Muslims and it was the partymen’s fault that they did not get their votes. “They (Muslims) are still voting for the party (SP) and not against it. It’s the shortcoming of our youth.”He said it was matter of shame that the party won only 47 of the 403 Assembly seats this time, adding that even after ordering firing “when the Opposition termed me as a hatyara (killer)”, the SP succeeded in winning over 100 seats in 1993.”They (youths) now are not like those we had in 1993. When a leader could not ensure victory on his village booth, what will be the party’s fate. I want to see a strong party and leaders should also mend their ways by ensuring better connect with the masses,” he said.Mulayam was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister during Ram Janmabhoomi movement spearheaded by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in 1990. His party lost the 1991 Assembly elections in the state to the BJP.