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UP Assembly Elections 2017: As western UP votes, BJP pins hope on urban Jats, RLD on villages

UP Assembly Elections: Meanwhile, a rural-urban divide seems to be at play.

Written by Daksh Panwar | Muzaffarnagar | Published: February 11, 2017 3:19 am
UP elections, UP elections 2017, uttar pradesh elections, UP campaign BJP, PM Modi campaign UP, narendra modi campaign UP, BJP Uttar Pradesh chances, BJP UP chances PM Narendra Modi (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Charan Singh in an election rally in Bijnor on Friday in a bid to woo Jat voters of western Uttar Pradesh. Ironically, one of the grudges many members of this community hold is that Modi didn’t remember the former PM on his birth anniversary, December 23, last year. “Modi ne to Chaudhary sahab (Charan Singh) ki photo pe maala tak nahi chadhayi. Ye to beizzati wali baat kar di (Modi didn’t even put a garland on Charan Singh’s photo on December 23. It was an insult),” Suraj Malik, a 32-year-old Jat farmer from Pinna village in Muzaffarnagar said Thursday, after attending a Rashtriya Lok Dal rally. The district goes to polls Saturday.

“Kuchh time pehle tak to BJP ki hawa thi thodi bohot. Bade-boodhe to Lok Dal ke saath they, par jawan ladko ka rujhaan to kaafi ‘Kamal’ pe bhi tha. Par jaise logo ko is baat ka pata chala phone se, WhatsApp se, tab se saare khilaaf ho gaye. Ab to ‘nalka’ chal pada har jagah (Until recently, there was some BJP influence, but when people came to know what Modi did, everyone turned against them. Now it’s ‘Handpump’ everywhere),” said Suraj, as he watched Jayant Chaudhary, Charan Singh’s grandson, take off in his helicopter.

Suraj was a toddler when Charan Singh passed away. Why, then, is the farmer leader important to him? “Unhone hame pehchan di hai (He gave us an identity),” Suraj said.  Meanwhile, a rural-urban divide seems to be at play. “The urban Jat is more likely to vote for BJP,” says Vikas Baliyan, who publishes a daily Krishi Nazar. “As land holdings reduced over time and farming became uneconomical, many families moved to towns in search of jobs, education and for a better quality of life. Over the years, their problems have become different from those in the villages. The BJP saw it and seized the opportunity. If we say the rural and urban Jat population is 70:30, the BJP has captured a decent chunk of the latter.”

But if employment and education are the urban Jat’s main concerns, it would seem natural that the reservation demand in Haryana may impact the BJP’s chances among the Jats in western UP. Baliyan disagrees. “The reservation agitation had little impact here. This is because Jats here have been in the state’s backward list for the last decade and a half. Also, the Jat politics of Haryana has traditionally been different from the Jat politics of UP. So I think the BJP will still get a fair chunk of votes among urban Jats. But in rural areas, most will vote for RLD.”

Charan Singh’s politics revolved around a combination of OBCs, including Jats, and Muslims. So, if the economic migration weakened his legacy, the Jat-Muslim fissure after the 2013 riots further diminished it.

While Ajit Singh and his son are attempting to bridge the divide, some say it will take time. “Waqt lagega,” says Ibrar Ahmad, a retired teacher, who was a Charan Singh supporter. Ahmad is both a Muslim and a Jat, or Mula-Jat as they are called here. “Chaudhary sahab ka zamana aur tha. Sab ek hi to they. Bhai wo bhi Jat aur ham bhi Jat, bas ham Musalmaan bhi they. Kabhi koi jhagda nahi hota tha. Par unke jaane ke baad mahaul aisa bana, firkaparsti aa gayi. Unke guzarne ka sab-se bada faayda to BJP ko hua. San 87 mein vo guzre, aur 1991 mein UP mein BJP ki sarkaar aa gayi thi. (Chaudhary sahab’s time was different. Hindu and Muslim Jats were one. But after his death, the atmosphere became communal. The BJP benefited the most. He died in 1987, BJP formed their first government in UP in 1991).”

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  1. B
    Brij
    Feb 11, 2017 at 10:48 pm
    RSS BJP only dies scams, corruption, murder terrorism.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;jungle Raj in Rss bjp ruled stateslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;KG basin scam by modi for 10,000 coreslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Sahara Birla diaries NAME modi receiving bribeslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradeshlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;60 MURDERED to cover up Vyapam scamlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;MP is rape capital of indialt;br/gt; lt;br/gt;Rajasthan is 2nd rape capital of Indialt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Jat riots in Haryana lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Modi's consuency of varanasi is hub of human trafficking and prosutionlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Demonization cost India lakh of cores in losses and Modi still hasn't said what we achieved with experiment.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The guy who declared 13,000 cores is out Scott free and small time traders are hared.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Indian are at the border defending us from external enemies but Rss bjp Modi has managed to kill 100 Indians from inside with demonatisation. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Now bjp leader arrested for being ISI agent.
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    1. B
      Babba
      Feb 11, 2017 at 9:39 pm
      Modi should stop peeping into others Bathrooms. Does he loves to smell bathrooms.
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      1. H
        Hapur
        Feb 10, 2017 at 10:18 pm
        Champion of DeLootization.
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        1. H
          HR
          Feb 11, 2017 at 7:37 am
          Yes ofcourse, it will all come along and settle down as it should be. Bottomline is that communal forces should be kept out of UP like in Bihar. Bharatiya Danga Party wants to communalize UP polls by instigating Danga and then fetch communally charged votes had already set lose Dangais sangeet som, Saksi Minaj, Vinay katya, dhongi aditnath, suresh rana etc more star Dangais to follow, yes Ofcourse but with a small caveat though, with a gun on people's head, after taking all their money and disposing of its own money. That's how BDP roll, so gangsta. PM Modi then wants to jump to a podium and do name calling and mudslinging. Yes Ofcourse but with a small caveat though, he want to do this with his signature bizzare hand gestures. Biggest name calla and biggest mud slinga. He then wants to seize all black money, yes Ofcourse with a small caveat though, he wants to do this by short cut of demonetisation. Biggest hoax pulla. PM Modi then wants to pour cow mutra down people's throat and apply cow gober on people's face for best shade results. He then wants people to buy patanjali product only using digital transaction, yes Ofcourse with a small caveat though, with a gun on people's head..!!!.!!
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          1. J
            Jeera
            Feb 11, 2017 at 4:58 am
            Wipe out Gaodfather of DELOOTIZATION from all 5 states.
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