U.P. must name culprits: Mahesh Sharma

Union Culture minister says Prime Minister had spoken to him earlier.

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:21 pm IST

Published - October 09, 2015 12:26 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Mahesh Sharma meeting the family of Akhlaq at Bishahra in Dadri. — FILE PHOTO: PTI

Mahesh Sharma meeting the family of Akhlaq at Bishahra in Dadri. — FILE PHOTO: PTI

On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended his silence on the Dadri lynching, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who is also the area MP, told The Hindu that the Prime Minister had spoken to him in the days following the incident.

“Yes, the Prime Minister and I have spoken, and the subject of the conversation is between him and me,” he said to a specific question, after Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that all BJP leaders who were making incendiary statements on the lynching issue had been warned by the party leadership. Mr. Sharma even refused to comment on the Shiv Sena’s call to disrupt any concert held by Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali. “This is a State subject and the respective State government will have to take a call on the matter,” he said.

Whatever message the Prime Minister conveyed seems to have had an effect as the Minister refused to react to the charge made by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that the Dadri incident was being used by Mr. Modi to communally polarise the Bihar polls.

“It is the Prime Minister being addressed in this charge and if he feels it is something he should respond to, he will do it himself.”

Mr. Sharma, while circumspect about his conversation with the Prime Minister, came out strongly against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh. “It is the Samajwadi Party government which is in power in the State [Uttar Pradesh], and it is their duty to reveal who the culprits are, who is behind the conspiracy and why there was intelligence failure. Even nine days after the incident, the government has not been able to show anything,” he said.

The Minister appealed for peace and said senior SP Minister Azam Khan should not make incendiary statements. “We must do nothing to destroy the Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb of the area. That village has been in existence for over 70 years and we should not allow anything to disturb the peace there,” he said.

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