PM visit to Muzaffarnagar is 'secularism tourism': Opposition


New Delhi/Muzaffarnagar/Lucknow: Minutes after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the riot-hit areas of Muzaffarnagar, the Opposition slammed the Congress for what it called `secular tourism’ and flayed the party for trying to make political capital of a tragedy.The Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and BJP criticised the visit and said such high profile tours will do no good and the people on the ground.SP’s senior leader Azam Khan was critical of the visit and said the people would realise the real intent behind such visits. The BJP called the visits political opportunism and vote bank politics.Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, speaking briefly to the media, said the guilty won't go unpunished. He also promised all help to the Akhilesh government to bring back normalcy in the district that was battered by communal violence in the past few weeks. "The riots were really sad. We will do what we can for the victims. I have come to share the pain of those who have suffered. Our priority and efforts would be that people displaced are sent back home," he said.Earlier in the day, the three reached Muzaffarnagar amid tight security.  They first went to strife-torn Bassi Kalan area and met the riot victims, who handed over their hand-written pleas to them. Rahul Gandhi too listened to the emotional villagers, who had lined up outside a barricade.Meanwhile, the UP government told the Supreme Court that all efforts are being made to curtail the violence and provide relief to families affected by the Muzaffarnagar riots.The Centre also informed the Supreme Court that Rs two lakh assistance would be given to the families of deceased under Prime Minister Relief Scheme, in addition to Rs 10 lakh assistance announced by the state government.Giving details of the ground situation, the Centre in its response, said that as per the state government's reply, 44 people were killed and 97 injured in the violence-hit areas and 2,462 people have so far been arrested. 

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