BJP MP, Hukum Singh, who had originally alleged that a mass Hindu exodus was taking place in Muzaffarnagar’s Kairana has now performed a spectacular U-turn by saying the reason for the families leaving the village was never communal.
Speaking to NDTV today, Singh said, “By mistake someone in my team mentioned Hindu families. I asked them to change that. I stick to my stand that this is not a Hindu-Muslim issue. This is just a list of people of who have left under duress.”
The issue had assumed a big national controversy with a section of media joining the chorus by providing crredence to Singh’s original statement.
The issue also dominated the two-day national executive meet of the BJP in Allahabad, where the president of the saffron party, Amit Shah, made desperate attempts to extract political mileage ahead of next year’s crucial assembly polls.
Last week, Singh had released a list of 346 people who he claimed have fled their homes in Kairana, a Muslim-majority town in western Uttar Pradesh, because of “threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community”.
Later at a news conference, he said, “I have asked my workers to re-verify, few names may be off the mark, but largely it’s the same. It’s not a communal issue, but a law and order problem.”
Yesterday, at a massive rally in Allahabad, Shah told his supporters not to take Kairana lightly.
“UP should not take Kairana lightly, it is a shocking event…the Kairana exodus is no ordinary event,” Shah had said.
Many had already cast doubts on the claims made by Singh alleging that they appeared to be truly in line with the tyle of politics practiced by BJP ahead of any elections in a communally sensitive state.
The party was accused of fanning communal tension in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, just before Lok Sabha elections and soon after Shah’s appointment as in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. The communal violence left more than 60 dead and thousands of families displaced.
Sing was among those leaders accused of inciting violence in Muzaffarnagar. He later went on to become an MP on BJP’s ticket.
The BJP then went on to win 71 out of 80 Lok Sabh seats in the general elections, held few months after the communal violence.
Both Congress and Samajwadi Party have accused the BJP of once again attempting to polarise votes along communal lines using Kairana in Muzaffarnagar.