Nearly four days after the Supreme Court held the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government responsible for being negligent and not taking necessary steps to prevent communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the riots and said the saffron party was paving a communal way to power.
Yadav arrived at Ghaziabad on Sunday to address an election rally to woo voters and to extend his support to Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Sudhan Kumar Rawat. Through most of his speech, Yadav narrated the development activities carried out by his government and hastily finished his much-awaited response over the September 2012 riots in Muzaffarnagar.
“We admit to what the Supreme Court had said. We will punish the guilty and take strong action. The BJP is to be blamed for the riots and they are paving for a communal way to power. Our government did everything for the rehabilitation of victims,” Akhilesh told the gathering.
Nearly 60 people were killed in the violence at Muzaffarnagar. The riots, which took place in the tenure of Akhilesh government, are likely to damage the SP’s prospects among the Muslim community. Recent Supreme Court observations and directions have also come as a setback to the government since the the first phase of the the polls is barely 10 days away.
In a bid to woo Muslim voters, Yadav said that 20% of every scheme launched by his government would be given to Muslims. On the allegations of deteriorating crime situation, Yadav had a counter attack: “Doesn’t crime happen in any other state? Incidents of crime don’t stop even in Delhi. These are just allegations. The SP government has done a lot of development work in the state.”
He also lashed out BJP’s ‘Gujarat model’ and Congress’ ‘Bharat Nirman’ slogans. “What are these? Congress party’s PM doesn’t fight elections. Its finance minister is responsible for corruption and he too doesn’t fight elections. Foreign companies have come here for publicity campaigns to confuse voters,” he added.
Terming his laptop distribution scheme a ‘secular, social scheme,’ Yadav claimed that it would take another five years for the BJP to distribute 15 lakh laptops like SP government did in UP. “We gave jobs to 1.6 lakh shiksha mitras. We came up with Vidya Dhan and Berozgari bhatta schemes. Metro projects were expedited during the previous tenure of Mulayam Singh Yadav. We have constructed flyovers, roads and also arranging for more power plants to provide enough electricity,” he told the gathering of around 3000 people.
During the entire rally, the chief minister reminded voters several times that his government will be there in power in UP for the next three years.