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Updated: November 12, 2013 01:44 IST

‘BJP resorting to polarisation tactics’

Omar Rashid
Comment (9)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
AKHILESH YADAV: ‘We have treated Hindus and Muslims equally.
Secular Hindus and Muslims agree that we took the right steps as a
government.’ Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
AKHILESH YADAV: ‘We have treated Hindus and Muslims equally. Secular Hindus and Muslims agree that we took the right steps as a government.’ Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

An interview with Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

In an interview with Omar Rashid at his residence in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav attacks the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Muzaffarnagar riots, and justifies the re-entry of tainted MLA Raja Bhaiya in his Cabinet. Here are excerpts.

Who will you blame or hold responsible for the Muzaffarnagar riots?

I have said it many times before. Those who have even the slightest knowledge of the issue know that it wasn’t a Hindu-Muslim conflict. It was a different issue. One community attacked another. Everyone knows that. The Bharatiya Janata Party was in the background. Our agenda has been, and is, to stop communal forces. Our party is secular and development-based.

Will blaming the BJP after each such incident steer you to safety? Will it not hamper your image? It’s your government. You are responsible for law and order.

Why shouldn’t I blame them? The people must know who’s responsible. I can prove their (BJP’s) involvement in some of the incidents. I have evidence. It was the BJP’s game. It’s a democracy, they also share responsibility to uphold harmony. In Jhansi, they created a row over a temple. Both communities have for years lived in harmony there. But you go and fuel communal tension. Why create this divide? So unnecessary. Similarly, in Lucknow, communal tensions were fuelled after cow meat was dumped somewhere. Seers work on rituals and tradition. But some are breaking their own traditions. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP are one and the same. They know they can’t fight elections on development, [so] they have to resort to old tactics of communal polarisation.

Your party relies heavily on Muslims and promises them upliftment. But they are visibly disappointed with your government. They feel insecure.

It’s quite obvious. They will seek answers from the government. So many have suffered losses, of life and property. Both Hindus and Muslims suffered. Even Hindus were hurt. But at each and every step, we have done everything a government could. We have given them the same treatment. Both secular Hindus and Muslims agree that we took the right steps as a government.

Yet, the repeated incidents?

I agree there are issues. This is a democracy. But to communalise the situation, general incidents of crime are given a communal colour. We did what we could as a government.

Do you feel that your government has been let down by the bureaucracy?

No, not at all. If it was so, how would we have been able to execute our schemes? Laptop distribution, giving out Berojgari Bhatta (unemployment dole) and Kanya Vidya Dhan.

Many of your decisions have been contested in court. Your government has had to face several legal embarrassments. The issue of reservations in the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission is one case.

It’s a democracy. Everyone has the right to raise their point.

How do you intend to win back the hearts of Muslims, who are clearly disenchanted? We are fast approaching the 2014 general election.

They feel the party is their party. We work on the basis of secularism. We have launched schemes that focus on minorities. We gave them a share in development. Which other party has done that elsewhere in the country? Even the Constitution says we should work for the upliftment of the under-developed, give them reservation for development.

You have re-inducted controversial Kunda MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh (Raja Bhaiya) in your Cabinet, months after he received a clean chit in the DSP Zia-ul-Haque murder case. The Opposition has blamed you for again letting in tainted elements. As importantly, they say this was to appease the Thakur votes.

Why not? It’s a democracy and parties take steps to win seats. If it helps us, then sure we shall win seats. I give my assurances that nothing untoward will happen. No criminal activities. That’s what I can assure. We will be responsible.

Take a look at what the other parties are doing. Who knows what they are doing inside. It’s election time. Somebody is crying over his grandmother’s death. Somebody is shouting that his life is in danger, blaming the Indian Mujahideen. Everyone is playing.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has attacked you personally in his rallies in Uttar Pradesh. In Bahraich, he said that you had requested lions from Gujarat, and were more fond of safaris than development.

(Smiles) Mr. Modi uses our laptops during the rallies. He should at least appreciate it while using [them]. They got the laptops from us. Why don’t you get your laptops from Gujarat, I ask Mr. Modi. Even Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have started giving laptops.

omar.rashid@thehindu.co.in

It is difficult to understand how such a naive person could become the chief minister of a large state. The naivete, incomprehension of the issues and lack of objectivity of the Mr. Akilesh Yadavs are typical of Indian Indian politicians in power and the reason for poor governance prevailing all over in the central and states administration.

from:  Venkat Lakshminarayanan
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 07:15 IST

Every time I hear or read the thoughts of Mr. Akhilesh Yadav my
veneration for him gets a hit. The thoughts he has presented in this
interview has raised doubts on his perspicacity.

from:  Nishith ANand
Posted on: Nov 13, 2013 at 13:28 IST

Has Akhilesh conveniently forgotten the Muzaffarnagar riots and the fact that his party had a hand in it ?

from:  Gaurav
Posted on: Nov 13, 2013 at 12:42 IST

Mr. Akhilesh Yadav's response to most of the questions are very poor, hollow and unconvincing. It shows that he is inexperienced in matters of governance and policy-making. What does he mean when he says that even Modi is using his laptops? Or when he says that even Chattisgarh and Rajasthan have started giving laptops? His response to the question on Raja Bhaiyya's re-induction in cabinet was particularly disappointing. Samajwaadi Party is blatantly communal, opportunistic, and thrives on appeasement of certain segments of society. In reality, it does not espouse even a single value or tenet of socialism.

from:  Guruprasad S
Posted on: Nov 13, 2013 at 11:06 IST

Without even reading the article, if his government and political outfit gives a special treatment to a specific class or religion, what else is expected of other religions. SP definitely helped sow the seeds of this hate relationship and others jumped to take advantage.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Nov 12, 2013 at 13:53 IST

The congress party and its stooges are ruling this country for about 58 years.The BJP hardly 6 years. If there is terrorism uncontrolled,if there is communal riots uncontrolled,Who is responsible?Either these congi wagons are incapable of ruling this country,OR they are Telling UTTER LIES.

from:  N.P.NAIR
Posted on: Nov 12, 2013 at 12:50 IST

Politics is the game which is played with blood of innocent people.Mr akhilesh yadav whatever you are giving justification for your secularism is totally in air. not a single word is truth.maintaing communal harmony is that much dificult that your total administration is on the back foot and just to blame the other party is the motto of a chief minister. development doesnt means giving laptop or unemployment dole.Development means self sufficiency of the the person who can buy the things by its own.

from:  Prabhash
Posted on: Nov 12, 2013 at 12:45 IST

Pseudo secular parties like Congress & SP can only distribute poverty equitably keeping the state/national wealth secure in their Swiss bank accounts. Why was Noida IAS action against sand mafia given communal colour by SP? SP & BSP are like curse on UP.

from:  Shaleen Mathur
Posted on: Nov 12, 2013 at 12:21 IST

Childish, juvenile and an interview without substance. Akilesh needs to politically grow up. Evenry answere has the word 'democracy' in it and his own party does not practice inner party democracy. His family holds at least two seats in Lok Sabha and two in the UP Assembly. The family takes prority over policies and practices
He could have use this opportunity to highlight what his Governemnt has done in rural electrification, health, education, transport, roads etc. Not one of the development programs were mentioned.

Akilash, you have the opprtunity to change the face of UP. You are young, well educated and has party supporting you. Don't waste your opprtunity like Rajiv Gandhi did with his.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Nov 12, 2013 at 04:38 IST
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