Lucknow: On the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met Governor BL Joshi in Lucknow on Thursday even as criticism continues of his administration. What remains to be seen is where exactly has the Akhilesh administration gone wrong.
Akhilesh did not back his police officers when they tried to act against rioters and criminal elements. He also did not take the initial violence in Muzaffarnagar seriously enough and instead transferred the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.
Another mistake that Akhilesh made is that he allowed a mahapanchayat to take place in violation of prohibitory orders in Muzaffarnagar.
Not just Muzaffarnagar, but the Akhilesh government has failed to act while a series of riots have taken place across UP in the past 12 months. He has also been been unable to rein in the senior leaders of the Samajwadi Party.
Meanwhile, there have been no arrests despite warrants being issued against 16 political leaders for inciting the violence. Two of them - BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Bhartendu Singh have denied any role but skipped the Assembly session on Thursday. Two other BJP MLAs who have been under the scanner - Hukum Singh and Suresh Rana - were attending the session.
Arrest warrants were issued against several UP politicians including Sangeet Som, BJP MLA Bhartentu Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait, BSP MP Kadir Rana, BSP MLA Noor Saleen Rana, BSP MLA Jameel Ahmed, Congress leader Saidujama and 16 other people.
BJP leader Uma Bharti on Wednesday practically dared the government to arrest BJP leaders, warning of consequences. BJP leader Hukum Singh has lashed out at Akhilesh calling him immature. "According to me, Akhilesh is immature. The Government is fit for nothing and if this government continues, it will be one of the worst in the world's history," Hukum Singh said.
BJP MLA Suresh Rana also lashed out at Akhilesh. "I want to ask the CM if we gave hate speeches at the panchayats and they have CDs, why aren't they being put before the assembly? The police know we are innocent, and so does the government. Akhilesh is trying to pin his failures and crimes on to other politicians so he can keep his reputation," Rana said.
Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities Wajahat Habibullah has also said that communal tensions are on the rise across India. He was at Muzaffarnagar on a visit after the riots in the area claimed 48 lives.
In a further blow to the Akhilesh Yadav government, senior policeman Arun Kumar, the ADGP probing the riots, has also sought a transfer, citing political interference.