LUCKNOW: Unlike Muzaffarnagar where the Samajwadi party had slept through the communal conflagration that cost it the Lok Sabha elections, the Uttar Pradesh government seems to have placed itself on alert in the run up to the polls. The effort by the BJP to stoke communal fires in Kairana on the basis of false rumours of migration has actually been stymied by an alert district administration with directions from the state government.

BJP leader Sangeet Som of Muzaffarnagar fame, who seems to be the unofficial party in charge for stoking communal fires in west Uttar Pradesh, was leading what he called a ‘Nirbhaya yatra’ to Kairana to protest against what BJP President Amit Shah officially said was the seat of ‘Hindu migration’ forced by the local Muslim community. His rally was stopped.

And so that the BJP could not raise this issue as ‘victimisation’ a second rally being organised by the Samakwaji party leader Atul Pradhan to Kairana for communal harmony was also denied permission, and stopped en route.The administration made it clear that prohibitory orders are in place in Kairana and processions, thus would not be allowed.

Kairana has been tense shortly after the local BJP MP Hukum Singh released a list of over 300 Hindu families that he claimed had had to leave the small western UP town because of threats from the Muslims. Even as this was announced by Shah at the party national executive, Hukum Singh backed off under a state government factual counter, by saying that he would publish a second list after an enquiry. The BJP followed this with the announcement that they would be sending a fact finding team.

However, the state government under direction has been countering this propaganda with facts and figures, releasing an official list to prove that most of those named in the BJP document had left over a decade ago, for new jobs or to join families. And that migration was constant in all villages and towns of UP, as it was in Kairana as well and had nothing to do with communalism.

Clearly however, the BJP is not backing off completely with Som now insisting that “all persons should be brought back” otherwise he would take action. Som was arrested in 2013 for allegedly spreading inflammatory videos during the Muzaffarnagar violence that left over 60 persons dead.

UP's ruling Samajwadi Party continues to deny any exodus. "No one migrated from Kairana or anywhere in UP; we have intelligence and other reports," said Samajwadi Party spokesman and senior UP minister Shivpal Yadav.He said those who had left town had done so for "professional reasons and we will not let the BJP vitiate the atmosphere. He went on to say that “Sangeet Som and Modi ji” should worry about the migration from Gujarat following the violence.

Sources in the party said that the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was very clear that communal violence will not be allowed this time. The bureaucracy has been placed on alert, and the party has let it be known that it will “not tolerate” any such incidents. The BJP is keen to polarise communities, the sources said, “and we know that, and will not allow it as it will work against us as it did in the Lok Sabha elections.”