No riots during BSP rule as they were hand-in-glove with BJP: Azam

Swami Prasad Maurya
The State Assembly witnessed noisy scenes as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan on Tuesday alleged that communal riots did not take place during the previous Bahujan Samaj Party government as they were hand in gloves with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Replying to notices of adjournment motion over the poor law and order situation in the state, Khan remarked: "I admit that riots have taken place during my government. Riots did not occur during the previous BSP and BJP regimes because these parties were hand in glove. Riots don't occur in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and when the BSP rules UP. Both parties work in tandem."

Amid protests by both BSP and BJP members, Khan said: "People understand who instigates riots. I am saying this with full authority. I have the CD of Faizabad violence. If the Speaker gives me permission, I can show it on a projector inside the Assembly. Everything will be clear."

His remarks created a furore, with Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya retorting: "You talk too much about the Babri Masjid but your leader Mulayam Singh even welcomed Kalyan Singh publicly." Maurya also asked Khan to show the Faizabad CD, or admit that the government lacked the courage to act.

Khan, meanwhile, defended the state government's move to withdraw terror cases. Referring to opposition criticism, he said: "You people are saying things in disguise. It should be openly said that the government is taking back cases against Muslims. In the Rampur CRPF case, I cannot reveal the IB report in the House, else you will know that those implicated are innocent. To the BJP members, I will just inform them that all accused are not Muslims, there are Hindus also."

Dissatisfied, both BSP and BJP walked out of the House.

Notices for adjournment motions had been given by all opposition parties. After debate, all were rejected. Incidentally, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is also the Home Minister, was not present.

Earlier, initiating the debate, Pramod Tiwari of the Congress expressed concern over the rising number of crime incidents in the state. "We can tolerate slow pace of development but deteriorating law and order is unpardonable for any government," Tiwari stated.

His party colleague Rita Bahuguna Joshi spoke of the increasing crime against women. "Lucknow, which is the state capital, has witnessed 21 cases of crime against women in eight months," Joshi said.

BJP's Satish Mahana said that the Samajwadi Party government now had a new CM, but its character remained the same. "The government has failed to curb communal violence. Cow slaughter is on the rise and is flaring passions. Action should be taken against the guilty irrespective of religion and party," Mahana said. He also questioned the state government's move to revoke cases against the terror accused. State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai accused the government of taking selective action in riots cases. "People from one community are being framed, the state government should not act in a partisan manner," Bajpai said.

Interestingly, BJP legislator from Rudauli Ram Chandra Yadav praised the state government for its handling of the communal violence in Faizabad. "I thank the CM for transferring the officials," Yadav stated.

Meanwhile, SP MLA from Ayodhya Pawan Pandey blamed the BJP for the Faizabad violence. "It was a planned attack on a community. BJP's former MLA is involved," he alleged. BSP's G M Singh also targetted the BJP, terming it as a communal party. "They claim to be nationalist but worship Bal Thackeray, who promoted hatred. The Congress too supports them by extending state honours on Thackeray's funeral. Instead, fingers are raised at Muslims," Singh added. His comments sparked angry protests from the BJP benches, leading to sharp exchanges between BSP and BJP members.

"We do not have the tradition of blaming persons who are not members of this House and those who have died," Hukum Singh, BJP MLA from Kairana seat, said. But the BSP members backed G M Singh. Maurya too decried the state government for its move to revoke cases against the terror accused. "It is being done for cheap popularity and vote bank. The state government has failed to control the law and order situation. During our four governments, no incidents of communal riots occurred. We dealt sternly with such incidents and booked the guilty. The present government lacks both the will and courage to act against such elements," Maurya alleged.

House passes Rs 5,861 cr supplementary budget

The house passed supplementary budgetary proposals to the tune of Rs 5861.29 crore by a voice vote after the BSP staged a walkout. Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that the government had brought a supplementary budget when the money allocated in the annual budget had not even been released. BJP's Hukum Singh said the supplementary proposals were meant to benefit only Saifai, Kannauj and other nearby areas.

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