Alleging that the riots in Muzaffarnagar last year were a “conspiracy” by the BJP and the ruling Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief and union minister Ajit Singh on Thursday termed them as “political riots”.
Addressing the ‘Sankalp rally’ in Agra, Singh said, “They weren’t communal riots, they were political riots. It was a conspiracy by the SP and the BJP to divide the people and reap political advantage.”
Singh, who launched a scathing attack on SP, BJP and Mayawati’s BSP, said this country will not survive if riots continue to take place like this in every village.
The Muzaffarnagar riots in September had shaken the Jat-Muslim social base of the party. While many RLD Jat supporters felt Ajit Singh did not back them enough in their conflict with Muslims, many Muslim supporters alleged RLD did not do enough to restrain Jat supporters from engineering violence.
Interestingly, Singh chose the same venue where BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi had addressed a rally in November last year. The RLD chief, however, was quick to claim he had drawn such an impressive crowd at the same venue that BJP leaders would now “lose sleep”. “Tonight BJP leaders will not be able to sleep after seeing the crowds here. This proves people will not fall into Modi’s trap,” he said.
Interestingly though, the crowd at Singh’s rally was overwhelmingly male-dominated. Singh’s son and Lok Sabha MP Jayant Chaudhary also addressed the rally.
Lashing out at the Akhilesh Yadav government, Singh said there was no law and order or infrastructure development in the state. “UP has not one, but five CMs with all the different power centres. But the one who sits on the chair can be counted as just half a CM,” he said.
The union minister, whose party has five seats in the current Lok Sabha, said the people of UP should not fall into the cycle of voting either for SP or BSP each time. He said while these were Lok Sabha and not assembly elections, a message should be sent out there is “no place for the BJP, BSP or SP”. He also reiterated his party’s commitment towards the creation of a separate ‘Harit Pradesh’.
Meanwhile, his son Jayant Chaudhary also did not miss the opportunity to attack Modi, making fun of his statement that it would take a “56-inch chest” to turn UP into Gujarat. “On one side we have people who say you need a 56-inch chest to run UP…The country won’t progress by pumping air in the chest. One has to sweat it out to run this country,” Chaudhary said.
Though he refrained from directly blaming the SP and BJP for the Muzaffarnagar riots, he said people know “which two parties would have gained from the riots”.
Criticizing the SP government, which is already under attack for organising and spending on the Saifai Mahotsav even as Muzaffarnagar riot victims suffered, Chaudhary said they should have just bought movie tickets if they wanted to see film actors dance. “On one hand, people are suffering and on the other, this government organises a mahotsava,” he said.
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