Communal violence has taken more lives in Uttar Pradesh this year than in the rest of the country, a senior government official said on Wednesday even as home minister Sushilkumar Shinde batted for the Samajwadi Party (SP) and blamed political parties for the latest round of violence.
Government sources said 46 people have been killed in communal violence across the country outside UP as against a total of 48 people killed in UP alone so far.
"These things happen abruptly," Shinde said.
The home minister had earlier recalled that UP had been forewarned about the possibility of communal violence and even pointed to his phone call to Yadav before the violence spread. On Wednesday, he got down to a balancing act.
Shinde reiterated the Centre's assessment that there could be more communal violence ahead of the 2014 general election.
"I cannot talk about political conspiracies till I get a complete report about the violence (in Muzaffarnagar). But political parties could indulge in," he told reporters. But while the Congress formally accused its ally, SP, of "failure" to control the flare-up, Shinde refused to blame the UP government.