Fake video clips and mobile phone messages were used for instigation, says U.P. Chief Minister
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party and said the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar was the result of a conspiracy and a political strategy to “benefit a particular party.”
Mr. Yadav was replying to a debate on the Muzaffarnagar communal violence in the Vidhan Sabha.
“MMS, fake video clips and mobile phone messaging were used to instigate riots,” the Chief Minister said.
Even as he admitted that it was the responsibility of the government and the Opposition parties to ensure confidence-building measures for enabling displaced persons to return home, he clearly indicated that the BJP should not be trusted.
“What is the guarantee that the situation would not again be exploited by the party?” he said.
Mr. Yadav referred to the controversy related to the presence of Muslim families in the Mahakaleshwar temple complex in Jhansi. He asked why the BJP launched an agitation when Hindu and Muslim families had been living in the complex for several years. Mr. Yadav’s aggression stunned the BJP, which was emboldened by the presence of the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Charkhari MLA, Uma Bharti, who participated in the Assembly debate for the first time.
Leader of the BJP Legislature Party, Hukum Singh bore the brunt of the Chief Minister’s verbal volleys. Taking on Mr. Singh for having said during the debate that some kids had taken “ khel ka samaan ” (toys) to the September 7 mahapanchayat, Mr. Yadav kept on insisting that the BJP MLA had said this even as Mr. Singh denied the fact and said the proceedings could be checked.
The Chief Minister alleged that a BJP MLA was an expert in “cut and paste” and that the news aired by a TV channel on Tuesday was not a sting operation, but a conspiracy. Mr. Yadav accused the BJP of supporting officers who suited its ideology. Though injustice would not be done, the Chief Minister made it clear that strict action would be taken against those accused of inciting communal violence.
Ms. Uma Bharti, who was in Muzaffarnagar on Tuesday, drew a sharp reaction from the SP MLAs, the Peace Party MLA, Mohammad Ayub, and Apna Dal MLA Anupriya Patel, when she referred to the Partition of India on religious lines which divided Hindus and Muslims.
Ambika Chaudhary of the SP retorted that India was never a Hindu “ rashtra ” and would never be one. He demanded that the reference to the Partition of the country should be expunged.
Referring to her Muzaffarnagar visit, Ms. Bharti said the government had lost the trust of both the communities. She accused the government of discriminating against one community and warned that action should not be taken against innocent persons. Ms. Bharti said the government should not play votebank politics.
Mr. Hukum Singh said he had not said anything objectionable in his “two-minute” speech at the mahapanchayat and if it was proved otherwise, he would quit and was prepared to go to jail.
Pramod Tiwari of the Congress alleged that the riots were engineered. Mr. Tiwari slammed the BJP and said U.P. would not become Gujarat.
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan said no government would harm itself. He stressed peace and communal harmony.