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In Jat land, it is RLD vs BJP in P’yat polls
BJP fields Jat candidates in all wards but one, RLD shows its faith on Muslim candidates
Lucknow: The upcoming Panchayat elections in western UP are nothing short of an examination for the BJP and RLD. RLD through the famers’ movement has been trying to regain its lost base while the BJP is trying to save its vote bank.
In the fight for vote bank, the SP and BSP are also not far away.
Since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has changed the picture of Uttar Pradesh as well as the political environment of western UP. The western part was once a stronghold of RLD while SP and BSP also had a fair hold but post the Muzaffarnagar riots the region underwent communal polarisation before the Lok Sabha elections and steered away from caste issues.
The situation was more or less the same for the 2017 assembly elections and 2019 Lok Sabha elections due to which RLD Chief Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary suffered defeats.
Jumping to the current scenario, the RLD wants to swing the farmers’ movement into an advantageous situation for itself, which is why Jayant Chaudhary has visited almost all the areas of western Uttar Pradesh showing support to the protest against the farm laws.
If we see the reservation list, all seats in Siwalkhas assembly constituency are unreserved, despite which the BJP has fielded Jat candidates except for ward 14 and the reason seems to be clear as the Jat voters have been angered under the farmers’ movement. The BJP with such a strategy plans to break the Jat votes by fielding Jat candidates and create a scenario where BJP will get majority of the votes.
The BJP on the other hand has also taken into consideration the caste arithmetic in other seats. The RLD has put faith in Muslim candidates and believes that the overwhelming support the Mahapanchayats called by RLD means that the Jat vote-bank is already with RLD.
RLD has come to an understanding that by having Muslims candidates in the fray, the Muslim and Jat votes together will decide the way to victory. RLD has already named candidates for 22 wards among which there are nine Muslims, five candidates each from Jat community and scheduled caste, one Khatik and one each from Thakur and Tyagi fraternity.
It is clear by the preparations carried out by each party that the Panchayat elections are seen as a trial before the 2022 assembly polls in the state.