The year before the Lok Sabha elections, 2013, saw communal rioting incidents in the country jumping by nearly 25 per cent, with Uttar Pradesh, which witnessed major religious clashes in Muzaffarnagar, being the worst affected with 247 incidents compared to 118 in 2012.
Data from the Union home ministry (MHA) shows that states such as UP, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bihar saw a steady rise in communal violence during the rule of UPA-2.
Gujarat recorded 68 cases of communal tension in 2013 in which 10 people died and 57 incidents in 2012 in which five people died. Karnataka recorded 73 cases in 2013 and 69 in 2012.
MHA sources said communities were being polarised to vitiate the atmosphere for political gain. Alarmed by the statistics, the ministry has asked states to keep a check on politicians making provocative speeches to polarise voters.
The Centre has also asked states to compile a list of all those who may try to stoke communal passions and have been involved in such acts in the past.
The data shows Bihar, which saw violence in Nawada, registered 63 incidents of communal violence in 2013 in which seven people were killed and 283 injured. The state recorded 21 incidents in 2012 in which three people were killed and 172 injured.
Maharashtra recorded 128 incidents in 2009 in which 22 people were killed and 389 injured. In 2010, the state saw 117 incidents in which 16 people were killed and 290 injured. In 2013, Maharashtra registered 88 incidents in which 12 people were killed and 352 injured.
Rajasthan recorded 52 incidents in 2009 in which 10 people were killed and 140 injured. The number of incidents was the same in 2013 but only two persons were killed and 194 injured.
The southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala also figure prominently in the list.
In 2013, there were 36 incidents in Tamil Nadu in which three people were killed and 85 injured. In 2012, there were 14 incidents in which two persons were killed and 37 injured.
Kerala registered 41 incidents in 2013 compared to 56 in the previous year. Andhra Pradesh too saw a decline in 2013 with 15 incidents compared to 60 in 2012.