U.P. Assembly polls Uttar pradesh

Amit Shah reaches out to Jat leaders from U.P.

Poll pitch:  Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Jat leaders at the residence of BJP MP Parvesh Verma in New Delhi.

Poll pitch: Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Jat leaders at the residence of BJP MP Parvesh Verma in New Delhi.

The BJP on Wednesday launched its big outreach programme to the Jat community of western Uttar Pradesh with Union Home Minister Amit Shah promising to “keep in mind” demands from the community for timely payment of sugar cane dues and reservation in jobs, but more importantly, keeping a door open for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for a post-poll alliance.

A meeting with nearly 200 Jat influencers, panchayat and zilla-level leaders from western Uttar Pradesh was held at BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma’s residence in New Delhi, where Mr. Shah emphasised the BJP’s “affinity” with the Jat community by stating that just as the “Jats fought Mughals for 650 years, so too was the BJP”. Significantly, he told community leaders that Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary had “picked the wrong house” (RLD is in alliance with the Samajwadi Party in U.P.), but that possibilities could be explored after the polls. “ Samaaj ke log unhe samjhayein [people from the community should explain to him],” he said.

‘Ready to help farmers’

“I started national politics from U.P., and the three polls I fought, the Jat community supported me wholeheartedly. I think it was because a Jat doesn’t think for self, like the BJP, but for the nation. Jat thinks for the country’s security, BJP too,” he said. He said that it was the BJP which ensured that that there were three Jat Governors, nine MPs. “The U.P. government cleared over ₹36,000 crore farm loans after it came to power, ₹1,35,000 crores was put into farmers’ accounts, ₹1,48,000 crores to sugar cane farmers. If there is anything missing, we will do it,” he said. He also asked whether there was any riot in U.P .after 2014. “If you get angry at me, come to my house with (Union Minister Sanjeev) Balyan, but don’t make any mistake with your vote, that sticks for five years,” he said.

The BJP is anxious about its prospects in western U.P. that goes to the polls on February 10 and 14 and has over 130 seats in the 403-seat Assembly. The BJP has commanded the support of the Jat community in the 2017 Assembly poll and in the 2014 and 2019 general elections. This time around, the year-long agitation against the contentious farm laws has queered the pitch for the BJP and Mr. Shah is anxious to make up that chasm.

After Mr. Shah’s statement that the BJP was open to a post-poll tie-up with the RLD, Mr. Chaudhary tweeted: “The invitation should have gone out to those 700+ families of farmers who lost a loved one in the farmers agitation, not to me.”

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 3:41:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/amit-shah-reaches-out-to-jat-leaders-from-up/article38330485.ece