Rahul Gandhi's remarks about communal conflicts in UP being "deliberately engineered" has triggered a war of words between Congress and BJP, with both accusing each other of indulging in "communal politics".
While the Congress came out in support of Rahul Gandhi 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.
"And thus you have a situation in UP whereby, clustered around those 10-12 peaks where by-elections are scheduled, you have a series of incidents taking place. Its incumbent upon the central government to be proactive, to take it up with the state government and to ensure that if there is any communal polarisation anywhere around the country," a serious attempt is made to avert such a situation.
"Unfortunately the perception about the central government is completely opposite," he added.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said, "Communal conflict is being artificially and deliberately engineered in our country, especially in Uttar Pradesh. This is a deliberate strategy to divide the poor of this country and pit brother against brother, to prevent people from uniting to fight the true enemy — inequality, poverty and lack of opportunity."
Hitting back, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said whatever is happening in UP was because of Congress as it took support of the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is ruling the state.
"If any party does communal politics, it is Congress. They had alliance with Muslim League. In Hyderabad they had tie up with MIM. Even now, in both the houses of Parliament... by discussing communal situation, their motive is to increase communal tension," Javadekar said while condemning Gandhi's statement.
Javadekar further added,"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."
"But Congress' thinking is totally communal and I condemn his statement because their communal thinking comes out of that," he said.
Meanwhile coming to the defence of Rahul Gandhi, while some Congress