Bijnor: Raising the communal temperature in riot-affected western UP going to polls on Monday, Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah spoke of the current elections as being an opportunity to take "revenge for the insult" during the violence in Muzaffarnagar last year.
"In Uttar Pradesh, especially western UP, it is an election for honour. It is an election to take revenge for the insult. It is an election to teach a lesson to those who have committed injustice," he told a meeting of community leaders two days ago.
The controversial BJP leader's speech came under attack from political parties which accused him of vitiating the atmosphere in the region, which witnessed one of the worst communal riots, between Jats and Muslims, in September last year.
The Congress approached the Election Commission seeking action against Shah for "creating animosity between communities".
With Shah was BJP legislator Suresh Rana, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots cases. Yesterday, Shah met leaders of Gujjars, Rajputs and Dalits as part of his campaign to rally these communities behind the BJP.
"A man can live without food or sleep. He can live when he is thirsty and hungry but when he is insulted, he cannot live. The insult has to be avenged," he reportedly told them.
The Congress, the BSP, the SP and the JD(U) accused Modi of trying to inflame communal passions through Amit Shah while himself wearing the "mask" of development.
The BJP, however, saw nothing wrong in Shah's remarks, according to the party's UP incharge.
"UP government has insulted the people there. It is not a question of Hindus and Muslims. Those who went there for secular tourism, they have insulted the people. Instead of putting balm on the wounds of the victims, they sprinkled salt. Revenge should be taken for this insult," BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.