Po­lar­i­sa­tion Pal­pa­ble in Bi­jnor Seats

Com­mu­nal ten­sion flared up again when 17-year old Vishal was mur­dered on Fri­day BSP Main Ri­val in 1st Two Rounds, SP in Rest: Shah

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Bi­jnor: Com­mu­nal po­lar­i­sa­tion is pal­pa­ble in Bi­jnor assem­bly con­stituency, where the Hindu-Mus­lim ri­ots that claimed the lives of three men from the mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity in Septem­ber last year con­tinue to form the back­drop of al­most ev­ery pub­lic de­bate. Bi­jnor has been a BSP strong­hold, with four of the eight assem­bly seats in the district go­ing to Mayawati’spar­tyin2012.SP­could­win only two but wrested Bi­jnor city seat from BJP in the by­poll held af­ter the 2014 polls. Two of the eight seats, Nag­ina and Ne­htaur, are re­served.

Polling in Bi­jnor district will be held on Fe­bru­ary 15. As part of her over­tures to the Mus­lims, Mayawati has fielded 97 can­di­dates from the mi­nor­ity com­mu­nity. In Bi­jnor, bar­ring the twore­served­seats,al­lBSP­can­di­dates are Mus­lims. SP has fielded four Mus­lims, giv­ing hope to BJP that the mi­nor­ity votes will get di­vided.

On Septem­ber 16, 2016, a clash had bro­ken out be­tween groups of Hin­du­sandMus­lim­sinPed­hav­il­lage in Bi­jnor. Three Mus­lims were killed when some men al­legedly as­so­ci­ated with RSS opened fire. More than two dozen men al­legedly in­volved in the case are still in jail. RSS mem­ber and ad­vo­cate Aish­warya Chaud­hary is one of them. BJP has given the ticket to his wife Suchi Chaud­hary. Her main op­po­nent is said to be Rashid Ahmedof BSPwhileSP’sRuchiVira, the­sit­tingMLA,isas­trong­con­tender too. RLD has fielded Rahul Singh.

Suchi’s fa­ther Su­nil, a se­nior RSS leader in Bi­jnor, is run­ning her cam­paign. “False cases were filed against these 27 men in the Septem­ber vi­o­lence. Many of those chargesheeted had reached the spot af­ter the vi­o­lence was over. In some cases, more than one mem­ber of a fam­ily has been jailed. No Mus­lims were ar­rested,” Su­nil Chaud­hary told ET. Com­mu­nal ten­sion flared up again when 17-year old Vishal was mur­dered on Fri­day, al­legedly by a group of lo­cal Mus­lims. This has led to fur­ther po­lar­i­sa­tion in the run-up to the polling day. BJP is hope­ful the Jat vot­ers as well as MBCs — Saini and Pal —and nonJatav Dal­its from Kashyap, Dhobi, Pra­jap­ati, Valmiki and Bhui­yar (weavers) com­mu­ni­ties will vote for it. BSP is bank­ing on po­lar­i­sa­tion of votes, with Mus­lims and Jatavs said to be vot­ing for Ahmed.

Sit­ting MLA Ruchi Vira, who runs ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions in the area, is said to be fac­ing some anti-in­cum­bency. “Vira won the by­poll as the whole ad­min­is­tra­tion of the SP govern­ment aided her. All ef­forts were madetode­featHPSingh,theBJP­can­di­date,” said Mayank, an RSS worker. The com­mu­nal over­tones here

BJP chief Amit Shah has said BSP is the main ri­val in first two phases of UP assem­bly polls and SP in the rest, as he ac­cused Akhilesh Ya­dav of getting into an “un­holy al­liance”. “ may spill over to the other seven assem­bly seats in the district — Na­jibabad, Barha­pur, Dham­pur, Chand­pur, Noor­pur, Nag­ina (SC) and Ne­htaur (SC). SP had won Nag­ina and Dham­pur in 2012. BJP has fielded Kam­lesh Saini in Chand­pur against Mo­ham­mad Iqbal of BSP, the sit­ting MLA. Iqbal, a lo­cal strong­man who is said to be in­volved in sand min­ing, had won this seat in 2007 and 2012. Ashok Rana, who de­fected from BSP, is the BJP can­di­date in Dham­pur. He is fight­ing against Mo­ham­mad Ghazi of BSP while Moolc­hand Chauhan, en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter in Akhilesh govern­ment, is the SP can­di­date. Om Ku­mar, BJP can­di­date in Ne­htaur (SC) had won this seat on an SP ticket in 2012.

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