Zee Media Bureau
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is feeling the heat from within the party over Akhilesh Yadav`s perceived failure in containing communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and surrounding areas, which has claimed at least 38 lives.
Reports on Tuesday suggest that Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister and a dominant Muslim face Azam Khan is miffed with the way the situation was handled and skipped the Agra national executive meet to register his protest. However, the reason put forward for his absence was `ill health`.
The ruling SP sought to downplay the absence of the Minority Affairs minister that has fuelled speculation of a rift in the party, saying it did not make any difference to it. The SP has come under all-round attack over its handling of the communal riots that has claimed 40 lives.
"106 members hain, 26 nahi aaye to kya fark padta hai (There are 106 national executive members, 26 were absent from the meet...It doesn`t matter)," SP National General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav told reporters when asked about Azam`s absence at the meet convened to work out strategies for the 2014 general elections.
The national executive of SP today met in the Taj city, which the party considers lucky for its political fortunes, to deliberate on its strategy for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The SP supremo had said yesterday that the recent violence in the state is a result of caste conflict and not riots.
Amid the raging political blame-game, Mulayam has defended UP Chief Minister and his son Akhilesh Yadav, who has been under fire over the Muzaffarnagar clashes, saying that there has been no failure on part of the state government to control the law and order situation.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi party, which projects itself as the custodian of the minority community is facing criticism from them as well. Several Muslim organisations today demanded dismissal of Samajwadi Party government in UP and imposition of President`s rule in the state.
Addressing a joint press conference at the central office of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, leaders of various Muslim organisations said that the Samajwadi Party government has failed to control the deteriorating situation in riot-hit areas.
The Muslim organisations rejected Akhilesh Yadav`s claim that riots are fall out of conspiracies by Opposition and asserted that Opposition parties in any political dispensation try to destabilise the government by vitiating communal harmony, creating law and order problem, but it is the duty of the ruling party to maintain law and order situation.
The Muslim leaders alleged that more than 105 communal flare-ups have taken place within two years of the SP regime, which shows the failure of the government.
Not only the Muslim leaders, but the ruling Congress at the Centre has also pinned the blame on the Akhilesh-led government. Congress leader Jitin Prasada suggested that the CM should quit in the wake of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.
Prasada slammed Samajwadi Party, alleging it was hand-in-glove with BJP and trying and criminalise things in the run up to the elections.
Another Congress leader and Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma had accused Mulayam of indulging in vote bank politics by "pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other".
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh Singh had also hit out at Akhilesh Yadav government in the wake of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.
"SP government`s track-record in this tenure is bad. Haven`t been able to control communal forces in Uttar Pradesh, even BSP`s was better," Singh had tweeted.