Amar Singh blames Congress, BJP for Rajasthan violence


New Delhi : Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh Friday held the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responsible for the ongoing violent protests by Gujjars in Rajasthan resulting in the death of 20 people in clashes between members of the community and police.

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"The Rajasthan government has fired upon peaceful Gujjar demonstrators," Singh told reporters here adding, "we support the demand (of Gujjars). We blame BJP and Congress. Both have been unfair to the Gujjars".

The Gujjars have been demanding Scheduled Tribe status for better job and educational opportunities.

The Samajwadi Party leader also spoke on the forthcoming presidential election, saying his party may support a Left-backed candidate for the post. He also told Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat that the party would not back a Congress candidate.

He said a meeting is slated in Hyderabad On June 6 at Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu's residence. It would be attended by AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader Brindavan Goswami, Indian National Lok Dal and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, Samajawadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and himself to chalk out a strategy.

Singh also declined to comment on a Uttar Pradesh court ruling that Bollywood star and party supporter Amitabh Bachchan was not a farmer and so not entitled to farmland given by the previous Samajwadi Party government.

"I don't have to say anything. I am not the affected party. I am not authorised to comment on this. I don't want to make a comment," Singh told a press conference.

He expressed displeasure over withdrawal of special 'Z' category for him by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government saying he never sought any security.

"If the administration thinks that I don't need Z-category security, then that is their assessment. I never sought any security," he said.

Singh criticised the UPA government for appointing former Supreme Court judge A.K. Lakshmanan as chairman of the Law Commission.

Lakshmanan had in March broken down in the court over an anonymous letter containing allegations and refused to hear the disproportionate assets case against the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying the letter had put him under pressure.

On the Uttar Pradesh government recommending scrapping of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) promoted by industrialist Anil Ambani, he declined to comment.

Ambani was allotted land for setting up the SEZ during the chief ministership of Mulayam Singh Yadav.