Centre blames SP govt for violence

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Monday sought to blame the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh for the recent communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, saying the state administration ignored its warning of a possible trouble in the area and, therefore, failed to prevent the riots.

The remarks by Minister of State for Home Affairs R P N Singh came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi visited the riot-hit areas. Singh had accompanied the leaders. Singh said people had lost faith in the state government.  The Samajwadi Party provides outside support to the UPA government.

“The Centre had warned the Uttar Pradesh government well in advance about communal tension. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde spoke to the chief minister (Akhilesh Yadav). But they ignored the warning. The state government did not listen to the warning. They did not stop the (Jat) Mahapanchayat despite warning. You know, law and order is a state subject,” he said.

He said the riot victims told the prime minister and others that they had lost faith in the SP government as it failed to provide security to them. “It is extremely distressing to hear people telling the Prime Minister, UPA chairperson and Rahul Gandhi that they have completely lost faith in the state government. They said they felt secure only after arrival of central forces and the Army,” he said.

He said over 40,000 people were still staying in relief camps in a single district due to riots and this was first time after the partition in 1947 that such a large number had been displaced. Singh rejected criticism from various quarters, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), about the prime minister’s visit to the riot-torn district.

He alleged that some parties had tried to take advantage of the situation while some others tried to whip up communal tension. He said the prime minister and the Gandhis went to Muzaffarnagar to share people’s pain and to give an assurance that peace would be restored and normalcy would return.

“The BJP does not want peace. It wants to come to power through this kind of violence,” he alleged.

Singh also sought to put the blame on state governments for the non-passage of Communal Violence Bill.

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