What were the circumstances which led to the flare up in western Uttar Pradesh?
At the moment western Uttar Pradesh is sitting on a live wire. The state government has abdicated all its responsibility towards its citizens. It is a volatile situation where no one is in control, anything can happen. There were signs since the last 15 days that the situation has the possibility of going out of hand but the state government did not pay any attention and now we are witnessing a free for all. It is only the state government that is to blame for the current crisis.
Your party the Rashtriya Lok Dal has asked for President’s rule. Why so?
A civilian government can continue to work if it is benefiting the people but the Army is out on the streets of western Uttar Pradesh. If the Army is on the streets why do we need a civilian government. This government has failed all of us that is why President’s rule should be imposed in Uttar Pradesh. The writing was on the wall that such a situation can arise but no action was taken. Well known rabble rouser MLAs who I would not like to name, were allowed to make statements which caused trouble. The perception of the district administration is that either they were asked to go slow or they were told to look the other way.
What do you think led to this situation?
All areas in Uttar Pradesh have a tendency of being sensitive. The district administration should be able to foresee the problems which it did not see in this case or deliberately chose to ignore. Even after 24 hours of the incident, where is Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav? He is living in some dreamland when he says that the situation is normal. There is a fear factor prevalent in all the communities. The trust and faith in the government and the administration has been broken. Whenever the SP is in power, law and order in the state goes for a toss.
You are supporting the UPA government at the Centre. Don’t you think that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also dilly dallied on the situation?
The MHA had already warned home secretaries of several states that the situation can lead to a communal flare up. That is exactly what happened. We all know law and order is a state subject, infact the MHA was even willing to send more forces if the need arose. The point is that we can place blame after all this is over, but first the situation should be brought under control. I will be going to Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas if I am allowed to. Then I will be in a better position to assess the exact situation.
Do you think this is a stage managed show between SP and BJP?
In a non-starter of a 84 Kosi Yatra you put in 8000 paramilitary personnel from the start. When hate SMS and posters are being circulated in western UP, the state government chooses to look the other way. There are inflammatory speeches being made from stages across districts and nothing is done by the administration. This shows that both the parties are together. One does it, the other looks away. The situation is fragile it can spread to other districts which will become a big problem for everybody.
Will the current crisis take away the traditional supporters of your party?
The RLD support is very much intact. Our support base is among people from all religions, castes and creed. It is the other parties who are indulging in all this who need to watch out.