Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today blamed the BJP for the recent communal incidents in the state, including yesterday’s violence in Jodhpur, which marred the Eid celebrations in the city. Curfew was declared in Jodhpur today following two consecutive days of communal clashes.
“This is the agenda of the BJP because inflation, unemployment has gone so far up, they cannot control it. So they are doing this deliberately to divert attention,” Mr Gehlot told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
The BJP, he also said, is upset about the recent by-elections in the state. The Congress, he said, has won six of the eight by-elections.
Through all this, the BJP is “bringing the state into election mode”, he added, citing the case of Madhya Pradesh, “where bulldozers are running”.
“We uphold the law. We can neither run bulldozers nor conduct fake encounters,” he added.
Violence and stone-throwing were reported from several areas of Jodhpur on Tuesday before the police used force to bring the mobs under control.
The two communities had clashed first on Monday over flags put up for Eid and Parashuram Jayanti. There were allegations that the flags for Parashuram Jayanti were removed to make way for the Eid flags. Fifty-three people have been arrested in connection with the clashes.
The Jodhpur clashes are the latest in a string of communal violence reported from across the country. The last few weeks have seen such clashes in at least five states – Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal – as the country observed Ram Navami, Hanuman Jayanti and Ramadan.
Asked whether it was time for the Prime Minister to address the issue, Mr Gehlot said, “I have been requesting him (the PM) to address the nation on the ongoing violence in the country. Is the PM having a problem in addressing the nation? I don’t understand this”.