SP sees BJP hand, BJP an 'all-India tournament' for Muslim votes

Akhilesh YadavThe BJP hit back, saying there was an “all-India tournament among pseudo-secular parties” to emerge as champions of “Muslim votes” and it was this that was “vitiating communal harmony”.

As Uttar Pradesh grappled with its latest incident of communal violence, the ruling SP accused the BJP of fomenting tensions for electoral gains.

The BJP hit back, saying there was an "all-India tournament among pseudo-secular parties" to emerge as champions of "Muslim votes" and it was this that was "vitiating communal harmony".

Speaking to The Sunday Express, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blamed the BJP for the violence. His party general secretary Naresh Goyal alleged "whenever there are elections, the BJP engineers riots. They had called for a dharma sansad at Deoband on Saturday, whereas this has never happened in Deoband."

"Stringent action will be taken against those responsible. There have been intelligence reports that they want to cause communal riots," Goyal said.

The BJP, on the other hand, blamed the "Muslim appeasement policy" of the SP. "Whenever the SP comes to power, its regime is characterised by the rise of musclemen and spurt in riots," BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.

BJP MP Yogi Adityanath announced he would be visiting the district soon.

Earlier this year, Akhilesh Yadav had informed the UP Assembly of 27 incidents of communal violence since March 2012 — this was when he came to power. These comprised three big incidents (Mathura, Bareilly and Faizabad); seven incidents of communal violence (two at Pratapgarh, and one each at Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Sambhal, Bijnore and Allahabad); and, 17 communal incidents (thrice in Meerut, twice in Ghaziabad, thrice in Muzaffarnagar, twice in Kushinagar, and once in Lucknow, Bijnore, Sitapur, Bahraich, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Moradabad and Sambhal).

On Saturday, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde admitted to a rise in communal incidents. "While 410 occurred in the country last year, this year 451 have taken place until now," he said, adding he had spoken to Akhilesh Yadav.

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