|Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Monday. (PTI)
Lucknow, Sept. 9: Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav today blamed Opposition parties for the clashes in Muzaffarnagar, saying whatever happened was the result of a “pre-planned conspiracy to destabilise” his government.
The Samajwadi leader, however, did not directly accuse any party of inciting the violence in the western Uttar Pradesh district.
“The violence is a political conspiracy to defame and destabilise my government which is doing a good job for the poor, the youths and all sections of the society,” Akhilesh told reporters in Lucknow. “Political parties are trying to find ways to attack the government and this they have done in the past also.”
He said the parties were trying to “cash in” on small incidents. “This has been happening since I took over as chief minister, but my government is committed to restoring normality.”
The district administration in Muzaffarnagar charged a senior BJP leader with violating prohibitory orders and making provocative speeches. Police have drawn up FIRs against three BJP MLAs too.
In Muzaffarnagar, police sources said former BJP minister and current MLA Hukum Singh and the three BJP legislators made inflammatory speeches at a mahapanchayat called on September 7 in Naglamandaur, 20km from Muzaffarnagar town, when such gatherings were banned as prohibitory orders were in force.
Singh said the police had announced there were “no restrictions on the mahapanchayat” and added that he had spoken for only two minutes. “I did not name any community or religion in my brief speech,” he said from Muzaffarnagar.
In Delhi, BSP chief Mayawati accused both the BJP and the Samajwadi Party of trying to polarise voters. “Both the Samajwadi Party and the BJP contributed to letting the communal tension drift and become more volatile. This seems to be a clear game to polarise the votes in the state on the eve of the 2014 general election,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister told reporters.
Observers said the Samajwadi was hoping to increase its tally in western Uttar Pradesh, where it had won just one seat in 2009. The region accounts for 19 of the 80 MPs the state sends to Parliament.
In the 2012 state polls, however, the party had won from the region 25 seats, which could translate to five parliamentary seats.
The authorities today stopped Union minister and Rashtriya Lok chief Dal Ajit Singh, his son Jayant Choudhary, and several BJP MPs, including Ravi Shankar Prasad, from visiting the troubled district. Ajit, Prasad and two BJP MPs were detained in Ghaziabad after they tried to enter Uttar Pradesh.
“The state government is trying to hide its failure in governance by stopping us from entering Muzaffarnagar. It is most undemocratic,” Jayant said.
Later, the Union minister and his son Jayant Choudhary, an MP from Mathura, decided to return to Delhi.
BJP leader Prasad said he, along with two MPs, were going to the district to bring about “sadbhavna” (harmony). “Yet, we are prevented from going.... The larger issue is what is happening. It is not the first incident of communal violence, it is the 70th or 80th (incident of) communal violence in the last one year,” he said.
Asked about allegations that BJP politicians might have been involved in the violence, Prasad said: “To conceal their (state administration’s) failure, they are raking up this alibi.”
The RSS today alleged the Muzaffarnagar violence was a result of “abetment and encouragement” being given to “communal forces” in the name of secularism.
“The Muzaffarnagar incident is a serious one. It is the result of abetment being given to communal forces in the name of secularism. The issue should be dealt (with) strongly,” RSS communications head Manmohan Vaidya said at the end of a two-day RSS-BJP co-ordination meeting to work out strategy for the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly polls in some states later this year.
The meeting also finalised the projection of Narendra Modi as the BJP’s mascot for 2014.