Scars of farmers’ stir force BJP in UP to walk extra mile : The Tribune India

Scars of farmers’ stir force BJP in UP to walk extra mile

The arithmetically invincible caste equation in the BJP’s favour since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is waning because of the scars left behind by the farmers’ protest and unkempt promises on job generation in this predominantly rural belt

Scars of farmers’ stir force BJP in UP to walk extra mile

The SP-RLD attempts to attract Dalit vote at `Save Constitution' rally in Sardhana, Meerut.



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

Bijnor, February 7

The arithmetically invincible caste equation in the BJP’s favour since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is waning because of the scars left behind by the farmers’ protest and unkempt promises on job generation in this predominantly rural belt. The sedition case filed against the Muslim candidate of the opposition Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)-Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance from Bijnor has come at an opportune time for the BJP. In the last assembly polls, the caste equation forged by the BJP easily trumped the substantial Muslim vote in Bijnor.

A 27-year-old homemaker Suchi Choudhary, whose husband was an accused in the 2013 riots, was elected an MLA in 2017 with the help of a polarised Dalit, Jat and assorted backward caste vote.

All the way to Bijnor, the badly rutted National Highway 34 precludes Yogi backers from including ‘good roads’ in the list of achievements – improved law and order, pukka houses and ration for the poor. “They take away most of the ration. Each has seven to eight children. Tomorrow ‘they’ will overwhelm us,” warns a BJP supporter. The sedition case is more grist to their rumour mill.

The election in Meerut’s Sardhana constituency was equally split on religious lines. In this sugar and mustard belt, sitting MLA Sangeet Som became a hero of sorts after the 2013 riots. The tensions after the riots helped him double the victory margin from 10,000 to 20,000 votes in the 2017 assembly elections. But, the SP-RLD is trying to chip away the Dalit vote that in the past gravitated to the BSP and BJP. The seats filled up quickly on Sunday for a ‘Save Constitution’ convention organised by the RLD-SP combine. Photos of Dalit icons Ambedkar, Phule, and even Kanshiram shared space with Charan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav. Not all present were firm supporters though. A group of six youngsters said they were there for ‘refreshments’. Otherwise half of them were voting for the BJP and the rest for the BSP. “But this happens in all rallies,” reasoned veteran RLD leader Mehar Singh who had once been with the BJP.

The BJP needs the previous consolidation of the upper castes, non-Yadav backwards and a section of the Dalits to repeat its stamp of authority over UP for an unprecedented fourth successive time after the emphatic wins of 2014, 2017 and 2019. But as the replacement of several candidates demonstrates, it has to walk the extra mile to tide over the scars left by the farmers’ protests, low sugarcane prices and the disappointment with the repeated cancellation of job exams in the state.

PM unable to travel to Bijnor due to poor weather, to address people virtually

New Delhi: The PMO on Monday said due to the prevailing weather issues, PM Narendra Modi won’t be able to travel to UP’s Bijnor to address the Jan Chaupal Rally.

He will now address the people of UP virtually at 12.30 pm.

#up polls

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