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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Day after BJP extends hand, Jayant says: ‘Not a coin that I’ll flip’

The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is the foremost party of Jats in western UP and the BJP fears a backlash from the community over the farm laws.

Written by Amit Sharma | Meerut |
Updated: January 27, 2022 10:30:01 pm
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary during a parivartan sankalp rally in Meerut. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

“Main koi chavanni nahin hoon jo palat jaonga (I am not a 25 paise coin that I will flip),” Jayant Chaudhary said at Khatauli near Muzaffarnagar Thursday, a day after the BJP said its doors were open for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief who is fighting the elections in alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

“Where were the BJP leaders when our farmers were mowed down under the tyres of a car being driven by a Union minister’s son in Lakhimpur Kheri (Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish has denied he was driving the car)? Hundreds of our agitating farmers sacrificed themselves on the Singhu border in New Delhi during an agitation for repeal of the three farm laws, but no BJP leader could find time to meet them,” Chaudhary said, addressing a group of people while on his way to Muzaffarnagar, where he is to hold a joint press meeting with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday.

Soon after a meeting with Jat leaders attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday, the BJP had said: “Jayant Chaudhary has chosen a wrong path… Possibilities are open even after the elections… We wanted him to come to us but he chose another house.”

The RLD is the foremost party of Jats in western UP and the BJP fears a backlash from the community over the farm laws.

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Chaudhary asked people to be wary of what they read on WhatsApp and other social media, saying the BJP was spreading misinformation through these after realising that the public had stopped believing the electronic media due to its agendas. “You have to remain united because BJP leaders and workers will not leave any stone unturned to drive a rift among you to serve their vested political interests. Remain watchful of rumours being spread by the saffron brigade, ” the RLD leader said.

The alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana town in west UP in the wake of the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 is being raised by the BJP in the current campaign. The riots had driven a wedge between the Jats and Muslims of the area, and the SP-RLD alliance is hoping to overcome that.

On Wednesday evening, Iqra Hasan, the sister of SP Kairana candidate Nahid Hasan, also appealed to people to not be swayed by the BJP’s claims. Hasan was arrested under the Gangsters’ Act a day after he submitted his nomination papers, and Iqra has filed papers as an Independent so as to step in if his candidature is rejected.

“They (the BJP) are spreading rumours that the Jats and Muslims of the region will not vote for a candidate not belonging to their caste or community. Communal forces are trying to keep us apart. But the SP-RLD alliance has fostered a message of mutual brotherhood… which has to be safeguarded come what may,” she said.

The government, administration, police and media are with the BJP, Hasan said, “lekin hamare pass bhaichara hai (but we have brotherhood). You have to remain united,” she said at her meetings.

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