Muslim anguish, decline in share of Jat votes may spoil Modi game in UP

Muslim anguish, decline in share of Jat votes may spoil Modi game in UP







Muslim anguish, decline in share of Jat votes may spoil Modi game in UP



Uttar Pradesh: The BJP's ambitious mission to end 'Vanavas' from the seat of power in Lucknow and capture power in country's most populous state is likely to hit a roadblock in the form of continued anguish of minority Muslims and significant lose of vote share among the Jat support base. Visit to various known Jat strongholds in and around temple city of Mathura suggest the Jats are likely to reflect their disgruntlement against the BJP - whom they preferred in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. "Jats have two major complaints against BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi - they are demonetisation and Modi Sarkar's "mishandling of Jat reservation"," Birendra Singh Chaudhary, a Jat sweet shop owner, told UNI. The same views have been endorsed by number of people - from cross sections of socio-economic strata including youths among the Jats. "The demonetisation will ensure 'barbaddi (hara kiri) for Modi. It was a totally misguided move. After surgical strike against terror launch pads in Pok, the BJP's popularity was at its peak. Note-bandi will do to Modi, what nas-bandi did to Indira Gandhi," rued another Jat voter - Subhas Singh, a former ex-serviceman. The Jats also feel let down by the BJP government both in the Centre and Haryana on reservation and the common refrain thus is they would vote against BJP this time. In Goverdhan assembly segment, many say the verdict is already clear in favour of RLD candidate Kunwar Narendra Singh, a local 'Raja' and a popular leader. More than the pure enthusiasm of Jat voters in favour of their candidates, the community elders feel the caste combination in Goverdhan and other assembly segments in the region - like Baldev, Manth, Chhata and Mathura would give the Jats upper hand to decide the electoral fate of the candidates and parties. "In Goverdhan assembly seat, for instance, we have 55,000 Jats and 80,000 Thakurs. These two groups coming together have ensured the chance of victory of RLD candidate," says Mr Than Singh Chaudhary, a local RLD leader. The fight here, he says will be confined between RLD and BSP even as BJP has fielded a Thakur candidate. "BJP was focusing for last few months to field Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj as a safe seat for Thakur. But they developed cold feet once our RLD nominee Kunwar Narendra Singh stood way ahead," he says. The caste consolidation of Jats against BJP, many say, would result in defeat of party's national secretary Shrikant Sharma. "The mood is in favour of RLD candidate Dr Ashok Agarwal though sitting Congress legislator Pradip Mathur will give a fight," says Deepak Mishra, a fruit seller.

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