Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday accused the BJP of creating hatred against Muslims over the coronavirus crisis, saying the ruling party members are following their basic training.
In an interview with PTI, he charged the Bharatiya Janata Party of spreading false reports of Muslims in quarantine centres demanding biryani.
Yadav also questioned the handling of the crisis by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh.
The CM is ignoring public representatives and officers are ruling the roost, he said, suggesting that the state's ministers should be more involved.
The SP leader did not challenge the nation-level decision to impose a lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, but added that the government should keep in mind the economic impact of prolonged restrictions.
"It is the basic training of the BJP to create hatred against Muslims. And they are doing just that. It will not end. The reports that they are demanding non-veg food and biryani in quarantine homes are being spread by them. They have succeeded in creating hatred in the society," said Yadav.
The SP president was responding to a question if he saw any bias in BJP governments' action against the particular community in their handling of the CVID-19 pandemic.
Attacking the Yogi Adityanath government, he said the chief minister is busy meeting with his Team-11 (group of 11 officers) and not eliciting views of the MPs, MLAs and ministers.
"The CM is playing a game and not serious in dealing with the crisis. In the past over three years of his rule, he failed to create any infrastructure in the state and has only been utilising the facilities developed during the previous SP regime. He must be realising that," he said.
Stating that "the frustration is growing among the BJP legislators", Akhilesh said, "the CM is ignoring public representatives and officers are ruling the roost. They should have been involved in their respective areas to see the loopholes and keep an eye on wrongs done by officers."
"Where are the ministers? They were made in-charge of districts. Who is stopping them from coming out and why? The CM is acting only on direction of officers and playing a 20-30 day 'match'," Yadav said.
About his views on extending the lockdown, he said, "Is there any other way out? Lockdown, increasing tests and staying at home are the only things that can be done. In areas, where there are hotspots, there is no option except to continue lockdown."
"If the government opens the lockdown and situation deteriorates and they have to re-impose it, what will happen then? This should also be considered. The coronavirus is spreading among police force and nurses. All their contacts need to be traced," he said, adding that help should be taken from everyone.
Talking about the economic aspect of the crisis, Yadav said, "All business activities have stopped. Prolonged lockdown will make the situation worse. The government should keep it in mind and formulate policy accordingly."
Alleging that the BJP government is creating a fear of "sending people to jail" if they do not report symptoms of the infection, the former chief minster said the government should try to "create confidence" instead among people and take their help by making them "aware".
"They should be given assurance that they will not be sent to jail. They should not be threatened but be tested wherever there is doubt and provide facilities to the poor," he added.