Mumbai

‘Farmers could be the focus of LS polls’

Note of caution: Yogendra Yadav interacts with media at Mumbai Press Club on Friday.

Note of caution: Yogendra Yadav interacts with media at Mumbai Press Club on Friday.  

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Yogendra Yadav analyses outcome of the three Assembly elections

The Assembly poll results of the three Hindi heartland States have brought farmers to the centrestage of national politics, said Yogendra Yadav, a well-know psephologist and national president of Swaraj India on Friday.

Mr. Yadav was concerned about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trying to divert people’s attention from real issues by raking up the communal narrative. “Be it the temple, Indo-Pak relations, another possible surgical strike or the appointment of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) in-charge and his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, the BJP could promote a Hindu-Muslim issue. I appeal to you to keep an eye on developments in U.P. as the Maha Kumbh is approaching. I have no proof but the Bulandshahar incident is telling. Millions are coming together two months before the elections in the most politically volatile State,” he said.

“The results in the three States has opened up an opportunity to fight the Lok Sabha elections on issues of rural distress. This country has seen elections fought on democracy, emergency, corruption, Bofors, 2G, the temple, Mandal; but we have never really seen an election with a focus on rural distress,” Mr. Yadav said, at the Mumbai Press Club.

Mr. Yadav predicted that if things proceed as it is at present, then it would bring a difficult time for the BJP. “No matter what the government claims, this is the most anti-farmer one in the history of India. There is a limit up to which you can feed people with slogans and jumlas (empty promises). Farmers know the reality,” he said.

According to Mr. Yadav, the next general election will also be fought on unemployment and the alleged Rafale scam. “If the Manmohan Singh government was synonymous with jobless growth, Modi government is with job-loss growth. The labour bureau has suddenly stopped publishing reports to hide this fact,” he said.

He, however, said that merely the existence of distress does not necessarily create anger among voters. It needs an Opposition to create that sentiment. “Whether Congress can do this or not is yet to be known,” he said. It was due to Congress’ inability to cash in on the extent of rural distress in the three States that people could not find it a better alternative to BJP, except in Chhattisgarh, he said.

Talking about his party, Mr. Yadav said that his concern is more about driving the narrative during the election than to win seats. “The purpose of the I-can volunteer campaign is to ensure that real issues remain the focus of election campaign,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:31:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/farmers-could-be-the-focus-of-ls-polls/article25854413.ece

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