The BJP gave Lok Sabha tickets to two leaders who faced charges linked to the riots that broke out between Jats and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli seven months ago. Over 60 people were killed in the riots. BJP candidates Hukum Singh and Sanjeev Baliyan were part of a mahapanchayat that was held despite prohibitory orders.
The Muslims of Muzaffarnagar are staunchly against the move and they see it as the BJP’s political move to gain from the riots. “That party has a history of promoting communal violence for political gain. Their leaders fanned tensions between the communities in a place where we had always lived in peace. We will refuse to vote and will not cast a ballot for the BJP,” said Mohammad Ashraf, who lives in a camp set up for the people affected by the riots.