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Leaders spar over violence

delhi Updated: Nov 01, 2008 02:04 IST
Srinand Jha
Srinand Jha
Hindustan Times
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Senior political leaders from north India continue to spar over the Maharashtra situation even as the Bihar chief minister asked all Hindi-speaking states to stop investing in the western state to protest against the violence.

Responding to Mayawati’s suggestion that he should quit the Cabinet, steel minister Ramvilas Paswan hit back, saying in fact, she didn’t have the moral right to continue as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. It was the inability of the state government to create jobs that was forcing the “youth to migrate to Maharashtra and other states and become victims of mindless violence”, Paswan said at a press conference. “Resignation is not the issue. I’m willing to quit, if the chief ministers of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are willing to follow suit.”

Paswan, who heads the Lok Janshakti Party, came down hard on JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav as well and asked him to sever ties with the BJP and the Shiv Sena. “…he (Yadav) has directed party MPs to resign at the fag end of the Lok Sabha. At the same time, he is shamelessly keeping his party’s ties intact with the BJP and the Shiv Sena.”

“Affluent people from all Hindi-speaking states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in particular, should stop investing in Maharashtra in protest against the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) attacks,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said at a rally in Gopalganj on Friday. If the people from the Hindi belt stop investing in Maharashtra, the Mumbaikars’ dream of an affluent life would automatically be shattered. “It is only then that they would understand the importance of India’s poor and their aspirations,” he said.

Though the Samajwadi Party has ruled out withdrawing support to the Centre, it has expressed displeasure over the handling of the situation by both the state and Union governments. “Majority communalism is a dangerous thing... India stands the threat of turning into a Palestine or a Lanka,” party general secretary Amar Singh said.

(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar Thakur in Gopalganj)