BJP Banks on Most Back­wards to Take it For­ward In Meerut Belt

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Muzaf­far­na­gar/Shamli/ Meerut: With the Mus­lims back­ing ei­ther the SP-Congress al­liance or BSP and the Jatavs un­flinch­ingly sup­port­ing Mayawati, BJP is bank­ing on the Most Back­ward Castes in UP to add to its tra­di­tional vote bank to cross the vic­tory mark.

Jatavs con­sti­tute over 50% of the Dal­its and in con­stituen­cies whereBSPhas­field­edaMus­lim can­di­date, the com­bi­na­tion can makeMayawati’spar­ty­in­vin­ci­ble. Most seats in western UP haveahigh­Mus­limpop­u­la­tion.

The Mus­lims main­tain that SP-Congress al­liance is their first choice. How­ever, this nar­ra­tive changes wher­ever the al­liance can­di­date is not strong enoughtode­featBJP­can­di­date.

WhiletheMus­limshave­po­larised against BJP, the Hin­dus have not done so as was wit­nessed in the 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tions. The Jat and Gu­j­jar votes are di­vided be­tween BJP and RLD. Mak­ing the bat­tle tough for BJP, RLD has fielded non-Jat can­di­dates in sev­eral con­stituen­cies, wean­ing away the back­ward caste votes from the saf­fron party.

In this sce­nario, BJP is bank- ing heav­ily on the MBCs and the non-Jatav Dal­its.

BJP is con­fi­dent that among the back­wards, Saini and Pal will vote for it. While Valmikis, Kashyap, Pra­jap­ati, Bhui­yar (weaver) and Dhobi castes among Dal­its will back them.

“BSP has fielded 97 Mus­lims and hence the EBC polarisation will be with us,” BJP leader Swatantra Dev told ET.

The 2013 ri­ots still ran­kle the Mus­lim vot­ers. Lo­cals in Muzaf­far­na­gar said while the ru­ral ar­eas have cooled down­the Mus­lim labour­ers are back and work­ing in the sug­ar­cane fields - there have been clashes off and on in the city.

“In­many­cases,thep­an­chay­ats have pre­vented the sit­u­a­tion from be­com­ing com­mu­nal. But when it comes to vot­ing, Mus­lim­sarea­gain­stBJP,”Bablu Khatik, a lo­cal youth, said.

The BJP cadre in west UP con­cedes that RLD will play a spoiler even if it does not man­age to win many seats.“RLD will di­vide Jat votes, un­like in 2014,” a lo­cal BJP leader said.

More­over, the mas­sive sup­port that BJP en­joyed in the 2014 elec­tions is def­i­nitely miss­ing.“TheModi­waveis­notwhat it was in 2014. That was a dif­fer­ent eu­pho­ria,” a se­nior BJP leader said.

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