HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Akhilesh ducks, blames BJP for 'caste conflicts' in Saharanpur

Sunita Aron, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, July 28, 2014
First Published: 00:27 IST(28/7/2014) | Last Updated: 10:56 IST(28/7/2014)

Embattled by recurrent communal clashes, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav Sunday accused BJP leaders of vitiating the atmosphere over issues like “loudspeakers at religious places” while their government at the Centre talked progress.

“Why should their MPs, MLAs and ministers spar over installation of a loudspeaker on a shrine when the central government is pushing technology, promising food on SMS orders in trains?” Yadav said in an interview to HT.

Read: Saharanpur remains tense after clashes; 36 arrested

Terming the recent violence as "caste conflicts", the CM blamed the Opposition for throwing a spanner in his administration’s works to attract investment, by discrediting government initiatives like ‘free laptop distribution’ – BSP had famously described the device as jhunjhuna (a toy).

On the Sikh-Muslim clashes in Saharanpur, Yadav said he had assured Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal that all possible assistance would be provided in resolving the crisis. "Anybody in trouble can meet me," he reportedly told Badal, who telephoned him on Saturday. A three-member delegation headed by Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal will meet Yadav in Lucknow on Monday.

Read: Post-riots curfew in place, jathedar takes stock at Saharanpur

The CM strongly refuted BJP’s charge that Samajwadi Party was pursuing the politics of minority appeasement, and pointed out that his government had recently stopped noted Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad’s procession.

While insisting that his administration will notn be unjust to any section of society, he said "secular" Muslims and Hindus will have to come together to confront divisive forces in the state. “Deep-rooted disputes can be resolved only by talks and not violence,” Yadav said.

Read: Akhilesh govt responsible for riots, says Shahnawaz

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