Cautioning against forces who fan communal tension in order to polarise the situation in their favour, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday voiced concern over the Muzaffarnagar riots and said such violence cannot be allowed to spread.

Speaking at the National Integration Council (NIC), Mr. Kumar, whose party JD (U) snapped its 17-year-old ties with BJP in June protesting against Narendra Modi’s elevation, asked whether competitive politics should necessarily lead to passionate persuasion of a “divisive agenda”.

The Bihar Chief Minister also voiced concern over the frequency and magnitude of religious processions, which are some times given innovative names like ‘Yatra’ and ‘Parikrama’. “We see that whenever there is communal violence, more often than not, the involvement of anti-social elements draws their strength in collusion with the political class. We have seen what happened at Muzaffarnagar.

“This is a matter of deep concern. We cannot allow this violence to spread all over the country. Some forces fan the fire of communal tensions in order to polarise the situation in their favour. This kind of political thinking completely stuns me,” Mr. Kumar said.

Stressing that such force should be fought with all the strength and their “nefarious” plans should not be allowed to succeed, he said people of India want good governance “but not at the cost of societal instability and violence. They do not want to be entangled in old slogans of division and hatred”.

“A multi-party democracy invariably leads to competitive politics aimed at cornering a larger share of votes. But we must ask whether it should necessarily lead to a passionate persuasion of a divisive agenda. Doing so may deliver short gains for some, but it eventually leaks to weakening of basic premise of our nation itself,” Mr. Kumar said.