Hate Speeches Fill West UP & All To Be Blamed
The two recent FIRs in west UP reveal the two sides of poll-time communal divide but seem to be having little impact on hatemongers
Meerut/Muzaffarnagar: Two first i n f o r mat i o n reports at the Thanabhawan police station in Muzaffarnagar reflect two sides of communal polarisation in western Uttar Pradesh in the run-up to the assembly election.
The BJP candidate Suresh Rana is accused of saying that a win for him would lead to a curfew in Muslimdominated Kairana and Deoband. His rival from RLD Rav Javed, on the other hand, is accused of giving a pro-Pakistan speech in which he allegedly said that the Muslim community is suffering because of creation of Pakistan; otherwise, there would have been 50 crore more Muslims in India and district magistrates and police chiefs would have been of their community. “Javed has been booked under more stringent sections – like Section 153B – which involves making assertions prejudicial to national integration. His speech is sympathetic towards Pakistan and meant to arouse communal passions,” an officer at Thanabhawan police station told ET on condition of anonymity.
Such polarisation and even stronger counter-polarisation is becoming the dominant narrative in western UP ahead of the first phase of polling on February 11. Rabble-rouser Lok Sabha member Yogi Adityanath, who has been dispatched by the BJP to the region, has claimed that 25 districts here face a Kairana-like exodus of Hindus. On the other hand, the BSP candidate in Meerut, Haji Yaqub Qureshi, has been accused of making a speech in which he warned Muslims that the RSS would take away the right of vote of Muslims if BJP wins UP. This speech is also under the police’s and Election Commission’s radar, police officials in Meerut said.
All this comes before the political heavyweights land in western UP for campaigning this week. BSP chief Mayawati is scheduled to address rallies at Meerut and Aligarh on Wednesday while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to address a rally at Meerut on February 4 and in Aligarh on February 5.
The state BJP unit had proposed a Modi rally in the communally-sensitive Muzaffarnagar but the PM has opted for Meerut, where the party’s candidates for assembly constituenciesfromMeerutandMuzaffarnagar districts will be present. Yogi Adityanath is slated to speak in Muzaffarnagar,though.Homeminister Rajnath Singh and BJP chief Amit Shah are also scheduled to address five rallies apiece for the BJP in western UP starting February 6.
BJPmemberssaidthatwhilepolarisation was always going to be the strategy for the party in western UP, especially since Jat leaders are not withthepartyastheywereduringthe 2014 Lok Sabha polls, there is a realisation that an “excess polarisation dose” could trigger negative effects in the form of “counter-polarisation” from parties like the BSP and RLD, which could hurt. This seems to be happening,particularlyaftertheBJP manifesto spoke of strong measures to check Kairana-like exodus and shutting down slaughterhouses in the state, a majority of which are in western UP. Yogi Adityanath said in Ghaziabad on Monday that western UP could turn into another Kashmir if exodus is not checked. Union minister and Lok Sabha member from Muzaffarnagar, BJP’s Sanjeev Baliyan, who was in Meerut on Monday to oversee the PM’s upcoming rally preparations, also dwelt on these issues, saying “slaughterhousesarehurtingfarmers,reducing livestock and also impinging on communal harmony”.
“We will make the state riot-free… a new inquiry will be conducted regarding the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots and the masterminds will be identified,” said Baliyan, who is among those accused for the riots. BSP has given maximum tickets to Muslims in western UP while the BJP has given none. Meanwhile, it seems the Samajwadi PartyCongress alliance has yet to percolate to the ground level in western UP’s crucial MeerutandMuzaffarnagar.