The Times of India

Even as political parties are blaming each other for stoking communal passions which led to riots in Muzaffarnagar, a report released by the Association of Democratic Reforms on Friday revealed that leaders of all parties indulge in flaring up communal tension. In fact, UP tops the list of states with MPs and MLAs with "communal record". And, among parties, the BJP has maximum number of "communal" elected representatives.

Around 13 sitting MPs and about 33 sitting MLAs (total 46) in various states had declared charges of indulging in acts which can be termed as "communal" at the time of filing of nominations for the elections.

UP has 13 elected representatives (MPs and MLAs) with "communal record" followed byAndhra Pradesh with 10, Bihar, 4; Karnataka, 3; Tamil Nadu, 3 and Maharashtra, 2.

Partywise elected representatives who have declared "communal cases": BJP has around 19, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), 5; Samajwadi Party, 4; Telangana Rashtra Samithi, 4; JD(U), 2 and 1 each from Congress, DMK, RJD, PMK, TDP and VCK.

"While all parties are playing blame game for horrific Muzaffarnagar riots, analysis reveals that most parties have been giving election tickets to candidates who have declared charges of promoting enmity between religious groups (IPC 153A), destruction of religious places (IPC 295) and committing acts intended to outrage religious feelings (IPC 295A)", said ADR in a statement.

Though current status of the cases may have changed, but the fact remains that political parties gave tickets to such candidates at the first place, the practice which needs to be discouraged, it added.

In UP, total 13 elected representatives have declared that they have been booked for promoting religious enmity — 5 MPs from the Lok Sabha, 1 MP from the Rajya Sabha and 8 MLAs. 5 Lok Sabha MPs include 4 from the BJP and 1 from the Samajwadi Party. Those belonging to the BJP are party's national president Rajnath Singh (Ghaziabad), Varun Gandhi (Pilibhit), Murli Manohar Joshi (Varanasi) and Yogi Adityanath (Gorakhpur).

SP MP Brij Bushan Saran Singh (Kaiserganj) was booked when he was in BJP during Ram Temple movement but he later switched loyalty. BJP MP in Rajya Sabha and Hindutava mascot Vinay Katiyar is also in the list.

Among seven UP MLAs who have cases for allegedly promoting religious enmity, four are from the BJP, two from the SP and one Congress. They include former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti, who contested and won 2012 assembly election from UP, and former UP Congress chief Rita Bahugana Joshi. Others are Keshav Prasad (BJP), Ramsaran Verma (BJP), Janmejai Singh (BJP), Rajesh Yadav (SP) and Ravidas Mehrotra (SP).

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