As homes burn, politicians waste time in blame game

AAP points finger at BJP MLA, while saffron party blames rumour mongers

At a time when Delhi’s political temperature is rising over possible fresh Assembly elections, the Trilokpuri communal flare-up has given enough ammunition to all the parties to run down each other.

The Aam Aadmi Party has been very vocal in blaming former BJP legislator Sunil Kumar Vaid for inciting trouble, and the Congress and the BJP have blamed the two sitting legislators of the AAP – Kondli and Trilokpuri – of not doing enough to douse the communal fire.

Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay blamed rumour mongering for the flare-up. “A fire caused in a shop due to short circuit was misrepresented as a mob attack,” he says, alleging the area legislators could have intervened in time and helped the two communities to sort out the confusion.

“After all, politics of unity is also a responsibility of the elected representatives,” he says.

The Congress, battered in the three previous electoral outings, is looking at the incident as an opportunity to remind the minority community that they were more secure and cared for during the party’s 15-year rule.

Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh says, “We fail to understand as to what has changed after a new BJP government assumed power at the Centre that Delhi, which had not seen such communal clashes, has suddenly seen a spurt of such incidents.”

The Congress has not left any stone unturned to showcase its secular credentials by claiming to be helping the detained residents and organising a meeting of people from the minority with their senior leader Rahul Gandhi.

“We are not taking names of those behind the trouble but we want that police should act against whichever group is involved,” Arvinder Singh says.

The Delhi Congress chief also calls the AAP as the “B team” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideologue of the BJP. “We apprehend there could be more such riots in the city in the coming days,” he says.

The AAP, which has eaten into the Congress’ support among Muslim voters, is trying to sympathise with the victims of the Trilokpuri violence from the minority. Its shrill attacks on the saffron party and allegation of it sparking the violence is part of well-thought out strategy to keep Congress away from regaining the confidence of the community.

The party has repeatedly demanded that police should not soft pedal the probe, particularly the alleged role of former BJP MLA Sunil Kumar Vaid.

“There is enough evidence to clearly establish that former BJP legislator Vaid had hatched the conspiracy to spread communal hatred in the area and it needs to be investigated to establish the level of involvement of BJP higher-ups in this conspiracy,” says a party leader.

AAP leader Ashutosh says, “The ground report by AAP teams from Trilokpuri show that though the situation is under control, tension among communities still remains.”
“What happened in Trilokpuri seems to be a sequel of communal skirmishes in poll-bound western Uttar Pradesh a few months ago. Office-bearers of the Uttar Pradesh BJP, their MPs and other leaders were seen inciting communal hatred in Moradabad, Saharanpur and Muzaffar Nagar, and some of them were also booked by local police,” an AAP leader says.

“The outbreak of communal violence in Trilokpuri at the time when the BJP was gearing up for elections seems too much of a coincidence,” he adds, pointing out that the violence could an attempt to consolidate voters of the majority community.

AAP media coordinator Nagesh Sharma says the names of BJP leaders cropped up in the communal flare-up in Trilokpuri. “Every investigator is saying so, what formal proof do you need?” he says.

The Congress also tried to give a caste-based spin to the chain of events in Trilokpuri to encash on the gains later when the elections are held. Legislator and prominent Dalit leader Jaikishen alleged that the Dalit youth, who are jobless and not well educated, seem to have been brainwashed and sucked into the communal crossfire.

“The simple Dalits have been used to target others,” he says, casting an aspersion on political rivals.

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