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SP Minister Azam Khan blames local administration,Akhilesh govt

Khan also rued the government's failure to take tough measures and punish offenders.

Lucknow |
September 9, 2013 9:44:56 pm

The Uttar Pradesh government’s handling of the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar has come in for sharp criticism from within the Akhilesh Yadav ministry,with senior minister Azam Khan publicly blaming the local administration for the conflagration.

“The manner in which the situation is being handled shows that neither the government nor the local administration is functioning,” Khan said in a statement Saturday.

Khan,who is also the minister in charge of the troubled district of Muzaffarnagar,spoke up again on Sunday following fresh violence.

“We needed tough measures… those instigating violence should have been treated as criminals and put behind bars even if he is an influential person.  When prohibitory orders were imposed in the district,how did they allow such a big congregation for the Mahapanchayat?” he told reporters.

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But on Monday afternoon,Khan was restrained as he spoke in the presence of Akhilesh at an event to flag off a batch of Haj pilgrims from Lucknow.

“It is the worst form of politics played by the opposition. We are not blaming them but showing their real face,” he said.

Other Muslim ministers too seemed to be feeling the heat. They blamed the local administration as well and said the riots were hurting the image of the Samajwadi Party.

“Ultimately,the responsibility is ours. Obviously our image has taken a serious drubbing and I have apprised Mulayam Singh about it,” said Shahid Manzoor,minister of state for labour and employment. “But it is also not the opportune time to point out faults. Firstly,we are concentrating on restoring normalcy. We understand the lapse has been ours but it will be discussed later.”

Manzoor belongs to Meerut and was summoned by Mulayam Saturday to take stock of the situation in western UP. He said Muslims in his constituency ask him about recurring communal riots when the SP is in power.  “We try to explain that the real cause is Narendra Modi and Amit Shah who are now concentrating on UP,” he said.

Riyaz Ahmed,minister of state for khadi and village industries,said maintaining peace was the collective responsibility of the entire government.

“Why single out any minister? If any minister has informed Mulayam Singh about the development,he should also tell him what he has done ?” said Riyaz,the SP’s state minority cell president.

“People ask us about communal violence during our rule. We explain. some are convinced and several are not. What can we do when we know that there has been some lapse by us,” he said.

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