Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused BJP of creating a divide in Uttar Pradesh for political gain, even as he claimed that Pakistani agencies were approaching some victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots to lure them to terrorism.
The Congress vice-president said he had gone to Muzaffarnagar after the riots to meet people of different communities, where he was told that there is no enmity among the people, but still they had been made to fight each other.
"BJP felt that unless there is a Hindu versus Muslim situation in Uttar Pradesh, they would not do well. So, they set this fire," Gandhi alleged, adding that it was Congress which had "doused the fire".
He said he had been told by an intelligence official that as a consequence of the communalisation in Muzaffarnagar, there was a group of 10-15 Muslim youngsters, whose kin were killed, with whom intelligence agencies of Pakistan have established contact.
Gandhi claimed that the intelligence official told him he was convincing the youngsters to stay away from the influence of Pakistani operatives.
"They (BJP) have set this fire, now who will douse it? Wherever they go, they set this fire thinking they will benefit in the elections. But they don't see that it damages the country," Gandhi said.
"The fire it set, it had to be doused. And this task is performed by the Congress party," he said.
"We go and tell people that don't fight," he said, adding that it was the people and the country who suffered, not BJP.
Gandhi said BJP had lost the 2004 Lok Sabha polls despite its 'India shining' campaign and then again in 2009, because Indians believe in co-existence.
He also spoke about empowering the youth and pointing to people in the crowd, said he wanted MLAs and MPs to come from there.