On a visit to relief camps of riot victims here, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Sunday blamed both the BJP and the SP for the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar even as he heaped praise on Rahul Gandhi, saying Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal were nothing in front of the Congress Vice President.
“Kejriwal and Modi are nothing in front of Rahul. Rahul Gandhi is Rahul Gandhi. You guys have put them (Kejriwal, Modi) on the moon. It is you, who give them publicity. What have they done so far,” the RJD chief said, adding his party will tie up with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.
Mr. Lalu, whose visit to the area comes a week after the Congress vice-president’s unannounced visit to the camps in Shamli last Sunday, echoed Mr. Rahul’s views that those living in camps should go back to their villages.
“We have come here to wipe away the tears of the victims. They should go back to their homes. Government should facilitate that,” M.r Lalu told reporters.
Slamming Aam Admi Party, he said the party is doing a “drama” by renouncing facilities such as vehicles with read-beacon cars, security etc.
“AAP is talking about corruption, they themselves are corrupt, he alleged. Training his guns on Mr. Modi and his close aide Amit Shah, whom the RJD chief described as the Gujarat Chief Minister’s “General Manager for communalising society”, Mr. Lalu said, “He (Shah) is spoiling the whole atmosphere. He is ... currently their warhorse here”.
“RSS, Modi and Amit Shah, who is working here (in Uttar Pradesh) are well-known for this and see the riots happened.
People used to live here together but the riots happened... “Communal violence erupted in UP after Amit Shah was sent to handle the party’s poll campaign here. He is spoiling the atmosphere of the state,” he alleged.
He said, “The BJP is the country’s enemy, we are BJP’s enemy.”
“The powers, which were once propagating the rumour that Lord Ganesha is consuming milk, are trying to communalise the whole society and promote both external and internal divisions. Youths are the main victims of this,” he said.
Mr. Lalu is considered a popular leader among the minority community and his party RJD had been in power in Bihar for 15 years largely on the basis of MY (Muslim-Yadav) combination.
The RJD chief said, “Divisive forces and those who want to occupy the seat of Hastinapur (Delhi) have targeted Hindi states.
“I had said at a rally in Patna that people have to decide whether the country will remain united or break in the 2014 contest,” he said.
Interacting with riot victims, Mr. Lalu, who is out on bail in a fodder scam case, told them that he couldn’t come early as he was in jail.
“No attention was paid in the beginning to those living in the relief camps. If they were taken care of initially, the situation today would have been better,” he said, adding he will be visiting the Loi camp and then will be able to tell why people are being displaced from there.
“I saw a lot of TV coverage their on the riot victims living in relief camps,” he said.
Referring to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s controversial comments that those living in camps were not riot victims but political activist, Mr. Yadav said, “It was too much and very bad...I have also heard people saying that those living in the camps are not victims”
Mr Lalu reminded the SP chief that “minorities had voted with an open heart” for his secular government so much so that even the SP chief had not idea that his party will form a government with such a big a majority.
“Even we had no idea that they (SP) will get such a big majority,” he said.
“I am not criticising anybody. But the kind of attention that should have been given in the beginning was perhaps not given to the issue (condition of riot victims) by the administration,” the RJD chief said.
Asked about the statement of a senior UP official that people were not dying due to cold in relief camps, Mr. Lalu said, “All of them have gone mad. Someone else will have to pay for the kind of statements these officials have made”.