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Temple row: Congress trains guns on SP, BJP

Statesman News Service |

statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 12 OCT: The Congress today sought to train its guns on the Samajwadi Party ~ over the current controversy sparked by the UP home secretary’s letter on Ram Temple in Ayodhya ~ as well as the BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Mr Narendra Modi over the CBI’s questioning of Mr Amit Shah, Mr Modi’s close aide and the BJP general secretary in charge of UP affairs, in the Ishrat Jahan "fake" encounter killing.
The UP government’s secretary, home, Mr Sarvesh Kumar Mishra issued a letter dated 9 October to the director general of police (DGP), and several top police officers of the state besides the collector and SSP of Faizabad district, asking them to attend a meeting on 14 October for discussion "regarding a parliamentary law by the Centre for reconstruction of temple at Ram Janmabhoomi on the lines of reconstruction of the Somnath temple".
A red-faced Samajwadi Party government today called it an "error" while promising action against the guilty in this letter episode.  The Congress national spokesman Mr Raj Babbar described it as a "serious issue" and pointed out that the chief minister Mr Akhilesh Yadav was himself in charge of the home portfolio.
"The SP chief Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav’s bid to cause Muslim polarisation might not be working, so he could be indulging now in Hindu polarisation by building up the Ram Temple atmosphere," Mr Babbar alleged.
Mr Babbar, a Lok Sabha MP from UP, had quit the SP to join the Congress several years ago.
Referring to the recent Muzaffarnagar communal riots, in which about 50 people were killed and thousands rendered homeless, Mr Babbar charged that "attempts were made to vitiate the communal atmosphere in Muzaffarnagar" which, he added, "indicate disturbing signs ahead for communal harmony in UP as well as in the country". 
The Congress has charged both the SP government and the BJP with orchestrating the Muzaffarnagar riots together for their respective electoral dividends in UP following communal polarisation in the run-up to the 2014 general elections. 
Rejecting the UP government’s explanation that an error had crept into the home secretary’s letter, Mr Babbar said: "Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav or the CM should themselves come out and explain such things." 
To a question about the CBI’s reported move to question Mr Shah over his alleged role in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case in light of another accused and senior IPS officer D G Vanzara’s explosive revelations, Mr Babbar said, "Mr Shah has been behind the bars and he is currently out on bail…who else will be questioned by the CBI."
Raising the issue of fake encounters or other killings in Gujarat, the Congress spokesman also, while mentioning that Mr Shah is Mr Modi’s close aide, said, "Whether it is Ishrat Jahan case or other cases like Haren Pandya, questions have been raised…Pandya’s wife has demanded that jailed police officers should be questioned to ascertain the identity of her husband’s murderer."
Mr Shah is already an accused in "fake" encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.