New Delhi: 09 August 2014
The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has deplored the sharp communal divide between minorities, especially Muslims, Dalits and Sikhs, in recent months leading to violence, arson and killings in Uttar Pradesh instigated by the political parties across the spectrum which have high stakes to capture power in the state. He expressed dismay saying it seems that BJP and Samajwadi Party are competing with each other to polarize the electorate to reap rich harvest in the November state Vidhan Sabha by-polls for 12 seats.
Sayeed recalled that in February, the then Union minister of state for home, RPN Singh had told the Rajya Sabha that UP topped the list of communal riots in 2013, the year when the state was gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls. It supported the theory that communal tension in UP heightens when polls draw near.
The SDPI statement stated that the polarization process that began before the 2014 polls will be kept simmering till the BJP wins in 2017. There are reasons why communal tension prevails in UP — the government’s overdependence on officers of a particular caste at grassroots levels and failure in involving other political parties to maintain harmony.
Sayeed said that there is also a clear evidence of provocation in areas where Dalits and Muslims live together, leading to communal polarization. He pointed out that in between May 16 — when UP delivered a stunning tally to the BJP in the Lok Sabha — and July 25, 605 low-key clashes took place which police identified as “communal” in nature. Nearly 200 of these occurred in or around the 12 constituencies and another 200 in the broader region.
He lamented that the fascist forces have used Dalits in the riots who were involved in around 70 per cent of cases of destruction of property. While a new aspect of the ongoing phase of communal tensions in UP is the intensity and spread of the violence in areas that are completely or predominantly rural. The rumor mills have also played a role in polarization, along with instruments of propaganda and posturing such as loudspeakers. In several cases, communal tensions have polarized communities that have had no history of animosity, and have lived in harmony for decades.
Sayeed said the communal agenda of the BJP and Samajwadi Party has paid dividends in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP galloped from 57 to 174 assembly seats and from eight to 52 Lok Sabha seats in elections between 1989 and 1996. Now, in the 2014 elections BJP tally soared to 73 seats. On the other hand Samajwadi Party formed its first government, in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party, in 1993 by winning 109 assembly seats. It grew marginally in the 1996 assembly elections, but won 16 LS seats then. At present Samajwadi Party is the ruling party in the state with massive 224 seats in the 2012 Vidhan Sabha elections.
He charged that the Akhilesh Government has failed to prevent the riots and is afraid to take strong action against the BJP leaders which is making the situation even worse. It is nothing but the inefficiency of the Samajwadi Party government in not only controlling but also in curbing the riots. Instead of taking true and strong actions, the SP government is playing political gimmicks to keep their vote bank intact and cheating minorities.
Sayeed strongly demanded that the Akhilesh government show the will power and act immediately against the culprits irrespective of them being political bigwigs to stop the spreading of the riots so that peace prevails in Uttar Pradesh