Muzaffarnagar riots: Rahul Gandhi, silent and away from trouble zone
Rahul Gandhi has so far chosen to remain silent on Muzaffarnagar, and Congress sources say he has no plans so far to visit there.
His silence comes when the Congress has high stakes in UP, which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. It is also a far cry from his constant assertion ahead of the assembly elections last year that he was not there only for elections and that he "will not leave UP" until development reaches the people. After the party's drubbing in the elections, Rahul's visits to the state have mostly been confined to his Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.
It is, however, not the first time that Rahul has kept silent on an incident that has drawn national attention. He had faced criticism for his initial silence on the Delhi gangrape of last December, until he eventually condemned the incident about two weeks later.
His silence now has baffled Congress leaders in UP. "We have no clue why he is keeping silent. Ideally, he must assert our commitment to secular values and condemn those indulging in instigating communal tension in Muzaffarnagar. Maybe he does not want to fall into the BJP's trap," said a senior Congress leader from UP.
AICC communication department chairman Ajay Maken sought to justify Rahul's silence and his decision to stay away from Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas witnessing clashes. "Our PCC president wanted to visit Muzaffarnagar but he was not allowed. Two days ago, (RLD leader) Ajit Singh was not allowed to go. When there are riots, visiting the place is not the solution," he said.