'On Muzaffarnagar, SP government is being misled by its officials'

LaluLalu Prasad discusses riot victims, corruption and alliances in this interview to Vandita Mishra.

Just a few days after securing bail, having spent two months in a Ranchi jail following his conviction in a fodder scam case, Lalu Prasad visited relief camps in Muzaffarnagar in UP. Here, the RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister who has always, and flamboyantly, taken the battle to "communal forces", attacked the BJP-RSS while pointedly sparing the SP government. Yet, that visit brought on an angry tirade from SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. In this interview, Lalu talks about the Muzaffarnagar visit and its fallout, his views on the AAP and corruption, and an impending tie-up with the Congress:

You visited the relief camps on Sunday. What did you see?

This (communal violence) has happened by design. It followed the announcement of Narendra Modi as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and after Amit Shah was given the responsibility to look after BJP affairs in UP. Now there is fear in the people's minds. They don't want to return home. The government must not compel them to do so. It must assess the situation, let them stay on. This is not such a difficult thing for a government to do — to resettle people near police stations and in areas where the density of the Muslim population is high so that they feel protected.

For the communal forces, this is their agenda, of hatred against Muslims and all minorities. We have seen it happen before, we have borne the brunt. Rumours are floated, character assassination is done. It is happening not just in UP, but in the entire country. The RSS is at work, its wholetimers are constantly on the job.

But Muzaffarnagar is in a state ruled by a party that flaunts its secular credentials. Where do you think the Akhilesh Yadav administration failed?

... contd.

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