Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday that the Muzaffarnagar riots would forever remain a blot on his political career,but promised he would not spare the people who instigated them.
In response to Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maury’s advice that he was young and a first-time chief minister and must,therefore,stay alert,Akhilesh said,You people always say that it is the beginning of my political career. I accept it,and it is also true that this incident will always remain a blot on my political career. I will not spare those who instigated the riots. Strict action will be taken against them. The riots were planned. It is very easy to play communal politics,and I know everything.
He targeted Hukum Singh,leader of the BJP legislature party,who had referred to the armed men who attended the Jat mahapanchayat on September 7 as ‘boys carrying toys’; Kuchh bachchey khelney ka saaman liye hue they,Hukum Singh had remarked.
Akhilesh said,You call them playthings. I know everything. I know that BJP is spreading communal tension in the state. I have a lot of evidence to prove it. You are a senior member. Where were you during the violence? I know who circulated the MMS.
As BJP members,including Hukum Singh,protested,the chief minister continued: First you made it a issue to evict a Muslim family living in the Mahakaleshwar temple before Independence Day in Jhansi. One of your senior leaders (Yogi Adityanath) was arrested. At Shamli,a girl-and-boy issue was given a communal colour. In Kannauj,a farmer put up a saffron flag to capture land,and an agitation was started. Who can guarantee that the BJP will not create a communal atmosphere again? You are good at cut and paste. First it was a fabricated CD (of violence) and now a sting operation on a channel (purportedly showing policemen saying they were prevented from acting). Everything has been done according to a plan.
Akhilesh told the Assembly that he was with a journalist from Delhi on September 7 when the riots broke out. He has written everything in detail. We immediately consulted Netaji (Mulayam Singh) and called the Army, he said.
He denied allegations that capable officers were transferred from Muzaffarnagar. Any officer who gives you political mileage is good and one who does not follow you becomes bad? I know the police did not enter a village during riots because there were Muslims. Don’t force me to reveal everything. I will not spare any guilty officials either, Akhilesh said.
I went to Kawaal and other villages. I asked villagers why the lone Muslim house was burnt. They had no answer but I knew it. Remember,no one who was involved in the riots will be spared.
Earlier,Maurya accused the SP and BJP of being hand-in-glove. Both of them are responsible for the riots. The CM should resign. No riots occurred under Mayawati, he said. At Muzaffarnagar,people raised slogans against the chief minister and hailed a senior minister. The CM should introspect.
Hukum Singh denied having made a provocative speech at the mahapanchayat. I spoke for only two minutes. If it can be proved that I uttered a single objectionable word,I will resign from the House and go to jail, he said,referring to the case registered against him in connection with the Muzaffarnagar violence.
When such gatherings are held,as a public representative one has to attend them and say whatever the crowd wants you to say,or you will be thrown from the stage. Why are you blaming me when even the governor has sent a report against the state government? he asked of the Chief Minister.
In response,Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan retorted, A leader does not follow the crowd. The crowd follows the leader.
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that the riots were planned,and the CD which was circulated to fan violence was sourced from Gujarat. If you look,there will be some Gujarat connection. The riots were planned to prepare the ground for a party whose leader delivers a speech from a fake Red Fort, he said.