Dismissing BJP president Amit Shah’s claim that the opposition is “disruptionist” and the grand alliance an “eyewash”, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh said that BJP leaders would not be talking about the alliance at every forum if the SP, BSP and RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh was not an electoral threat to the BJP.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the phone from Muzaffarnagar, the seven-time MP said the saffron party was not only dividing Hindus and Muslims in the region but has also managed to divide farmers along caste lines. Singh was in Muzaffarnagar for two days to “detoxify” the region after the 2013 riots, which he said was a “sequel to seeds of mistrust and mutual hatred sown by the BJP for electoral gains”.
He said he has been holding ‘bhaichara’ (brotherhood) meetings in west UP districts for a long time to forge unity among communities “whose survival is in co-existence”. “I suspended these meetings because of the Kairana bypolls and have started them again… to work for caste and communal brotherhood in west UP, particularly Muzzafarnagar.”
Singh said the victory of the opposition candidate Tabassum Hasan was a clear indication that people can not be fooled by caste and communal politics of the BJP anymore. “The actual margin of victory in Kairana was more than 1.5 lakh votes but thanks to a nexus between officials and the ruling party, the margin was reduced to only 55,000 votes,” he said.
Referring to rebel SP leader Shivpal Yadav floating his Samajwadi Secular Morcha and inviting other secular parties to join, Singh said, “Anyone trying to confuse people about the grand alliance by forming one party or the other cannot survive.” “You know the real reason why such parties are floated before major elections.”
He said BJP leaders have been spreading lies about fulfiling electoral promises while nearly Rs 12,000 crore has not been paid to cane growers yet by state-owned and private sugar mills in the west region.