BJP supported candidates have won maximum number of Zila panchayat seats in Muzaffarnagar in the recently held local body polls in Uttar Pradesh.
More importantly, the party supported candidates won all the three seats under which the riot affected villages fall.
There are 43 panchayat seats in Muzaffarnagar district and BJP won maximum 18. Samajwadi Party was way behind with just 8 of its supported candidates winning the poll.
In the last Zila Panchayat before the 2013 riots, BJP had 3 members in the Zila panchayat.
The ruling party in the State hesitated to officially declare support to any candidate in the Panchayat poll thinking about its possible repercussions on Assembly but unofficially there were candidates which had the party's support.
In an indication of increasing popularity of the BJP in the riot affected district, of the total 38 panchayat candidates the saffron party supported in Muzaffarnagar, 18, slightly less than 50 per cent, won their seats. The fact that there are much lesser interference of political parties in Panchayat polls only highlights that the saffron party seem to have retained its popular support base which supported it in the Lok Sabha polls.
BJP won Ward number 35 under which villages of Kaval and Malakpura fall. The 2013 Muzaffarnagar violence was triggered by murder of Shahnawaz and subsequent retaliatory killings of Sachin and Gaurav, the two jat youths from Malakpura in August 2013.
The party also won ward number 21 under which Phugana village comes. Phugana was one of the worst riot affected villages from where six cases of rape and two cases of murder were reported during the riots. Over thousand Muslims in the village migrated from Phugana to nearby Muslim dominated villages which come under different Panchayat seats.