New Delhi: Political parties were critical of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to communal riots-hit areas of Muzaffarnagar on Monday, with BJP saying such "secular tourism" would not help and BSP terming it as a "drama".
Samajwadi Party, which supports the UPA from outside, also took a dig saying it is good that the prime minister should undertake such visits as elections are nearing.
BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "The way secular tourism is being undertaken over the issue of communal riots, it will not help provide any kind of compensation to the dead and will not heal the wounds of riot victims."
Singh, accompanied by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, met some riots victims to assess the situation and said the perpetrators of such crimes would get the "strictest punishment".
BSP chief Mayawati criticised the visit saying the Centre should have taken the initiative of dismissing the Uttar Pradesh government and imposed President`s Rule instead.
"Otherwise, this act of meeting the victims is only a drama. This will not give any relief to people of Uttar Pradesh. Merely putting balm on their wounds would not help... The Centre should discharge its Constitutional obligation," she said.
Taking a dig at Singh, SP leader Azam Khan said, "PM Manmohan Singh has gone to Muzaffarnagar... It is a good thing... Elections are near and he should do this."
He said it would have been better for the prime minister to have also visited other areas like Faizabad, Mathura and Bareilly, where riots have taken place. Khan also reminded him that he chose to ignore the historic Moradabad riots that continued for quite a while.