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Riot finger at BJP MP

Lucknow, Aug. 17 (PTI): An Uttar Pradesh government panel today accused a BJP MP of inciting the Saharanpur riots, besides blaming laxity by local officials, sparking a war of words among parties.

The BJP dismissed the report as “politically motivated” and an attempt by the ruling Samajwadi Party to hide its “failures”.

“The reportů names a BJP MP, besides pointing out the laxity of administrative officers,” Samajwadi national general secretary Naresh Agarwal said. “As the role of a BJP MP has also come to the fore, we can say that the party has a role in the Saharanpur incident.”

Headed by Uttar Pradesh minister Shivpal Yadav, the five-member committee, which probed the July 26 violence in the western district that left three persons dead, has alleged that local BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal provoked the rioters which led to attempts to torch shops, according to sources.

Lakhanpal said the allegations reflected the “low level politics” of the Samajwadi, which was trying to “appease” a particular community ahead of Assembly bypolls in the state.

“It is politically motivated. I have been praised for my efforts to end the violence and restore peace. The government should have thanked me instead of levelling false allegations,” the MP said in Saharanpur.

BSP chief Mayawati targeted both the Samajwadi and the BJP, alleging that the two parties were “hand in glove” in fanning communal violence in the state.

The Congress said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take up the issue “strictly” with his party men.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh said he would not comment as it was a “report of a political party” and he had not seen it.