India Today reported that taking advantage of the situation, Congress leader from the state and Union Minister Jitin Prasada said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav should quit in the wake of communal violence in western Uttar Pradesh districts, where the death toll crossed 40 on Tuesday.
"If I were in Akhilesh Yadav's place, I would have stepped down taking moral responsibility," Prasada said on Tuesday. "Twenty- one years have passed since such kind of violence has erupted in the state. The army is on the streets. This was unheard of," he added.
Manmohan Singh announced Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who died
Asked if the Congress is being soft on the SP government, which is providing outside support to the UPA government at the Centre, he said, "There is no question of being soft on any government, especially when incidents like this happen where over 40 people have died and communal passions have flared up." State Congress in- charge Madhusudan Mistry accused the Samajwadi Party government in the state of "conspiring" with the BJP to incite the riots.
In an indirect demand for Akhilesh's resignation, Mistry said, "The chief minister or minister who cannot protect the people does not have the right to remain on the post."
"Muzaffarnagar kept burning and the SP government allowed it to simmer. The state government failed on its own. This is the politics of dead bodies and it is just a trailer. I condemn it forcefully," Mistry added.
In Muzaffarnagar, the situation remained tense but under control on Tuesday. With no reports of fresh violence, curfew was eased for two hours from 3.30 pm in certain areas. Residents rushed to medical shops, petrol pumps, grocery shops and ATMs to collect supplies and cash for emergency purposes.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday announced Rs.2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs.50,000 each for those seriously injured in the communal clashes continuing since August 27 in the district.