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Rahul remark sparks war of words

Rahul remark sparks war of words
Highlights

Rahul remark sparks war of words, Leaders of the BJP and Samajwadi Party or SP on Friday traded allegations over the frequent incidents of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told a newspaper that he believed the clashes were \"artificially engineered\".

BJP flays cong vice-president’s ‘communal’ remark

Congress vice-president Rahul GandhiNew Delhi: Leaders of the BJP and Samajwadi Party or SP on Friday traded allegations over the frequent incidents of communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told a newspaper that he believed the clashes were "artificially engineered".

The communal clashes in the state were part of a deliberate strategy to "divide the poor and pit brother against brother," said Gandhi.

Media reports allege that there have been over 600 incidents of communal tension or violence between the end of May and July this year in Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by the SP. Though Gandhi refrained from naming any political party in his statement, the SP, which has faced much flak over the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, seemed to do just that. SP leader Rajendra Chauhdhary told media personnel, "The BJP thinks that (since) they have come to power at the Centre, they have got the license to do riots in UP".

"Since the SP government came to power, the BJP and the RSS have constantly tried to spread communal tension in the state," he added.

While the Congress came out in support of the party vice-president and blamed BJP for exploiting the situation for political purposes, BJP targeted Rahul saying it "reflected the party's communal thinking".

"Unfortunately ever since the BJP government has come to office at the centre, there is a growing realisation that the government is interested in keeping communal temperatures towards a degree just below the boiling point so that they can exploit religious polarisation for political purposes," senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said.

A furious BJP hit back by claiming that the Congress was "spreading communalism".

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said whatever is happening in Uttar Pradesh was because of Congress as it took support of the Samajwadi Party (SP), which was ruling the state, for ten years. Even now, in both the houses of Parliament... by discussing communal situation, their motive was to increase communal tension, Javadekar said while condemning Gandhi's statement.

Further, Javadekar said, "Rahul's statement should not be given so much importance. Narendra Modi has already said one has to decide whether one would fight against poverty or Hindus and Muslims will fight against each other. The vision is to take everybody together," he said.

Rallying behind the Rahul’s comment, Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, "The entire nation knows that ever since the BJP government has come to power at centre, how they been trying to create communal divide in UP."

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