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As Jats and Muslims Come Together in Muzaffarnagar, Watch Ajit Singh Chanting Slogans with Them

With local Jat activists voicing resentment against local BJP MP and former Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh spent two days in the riot-torn district of Muzaffarnagar.

Uday Singh Rana | News18.com

Updated:February 15, 2018, 9:54 AM IST
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New Delhi: As Jats and Muslims in Muzaffarnagar come together to hold ‘Mahapanchayats’, with an aim to amicably resolve riot-related cases, one of Western UP’s top political figures is eyeing an opportunity.

With local Jat activists voicing resentment against local BJP MP and former Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh spent two days in the riot-torn district.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, which were conducted in the aftermath of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, RLD failed to win even a single seat. Ajit Singh lost his own seat of Baghpat, a seat once represented by his father Chaudhary Charan Singh– the only Jat to ever hold the office of Prime Minister.

The main reason for RLD’s poll debacle was that Jats, the party’s core vote base, deserted their “Chaudhary” and voted in droves for the BJP. In 2017, the party continued to scrape the bottom of the barrel. It won just one out of 131 seats on which it contested elections. The one seat was the party’s bastion of Chhaprauli in Baghpat district.

During these Mahapanchayats, Jats and Muslims, to recreate communal harmony, shouted both ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’ slogans. On Wednesday, Jat activist Vipin Singh Balyan shared a video of Ajit Singh, surrounded by both Jats and Muslims, shouting both slogans.

“Chaudhary Sahib appreciated our efforts at trying to bring both communities, which had been split as a result of the riots. He was happy to see that the wounds are healing,” he said.

Ajit Singh’s latest visit has thrown Muzaffarnagar’s political circles into a tizzy. There is now talk of Singh contesting the 2019 polls from the communally sensitive seat and build upon the Jat-Muslim social coalition that is currently in its infant stages. He may vacate his ancestral seat of Baghpat for his son Jayant Chaudhary, who was the MP from Mathura before he lost to BJP’s Hema Malini in 2014.

When asked if ‘Chaudhary Sahib’ is mulling a move to Muzaffarnagar, a party source close to the leader said, “Nothing is final yet. He spent two days in Muzaffarnagar, seeing what the situation there is. We first have to see how the field develops before taking any radical decisions.”

Muzaffarnagar was once the home of iconic farmer leader Mahinder Singh Tikait, the founder of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and ‘Chaudhary’ of the powerful Balyan Khap. Tikait built a powerful pro-farmer movement on the back of support from both Jats and Muslims. Ajit Singh’s own father, Chaudhary Charan Singh, drew huge support from Muslims and ascended the high chair in Delhi. Many believe that at the age of 79, 2019 will likely be Ajit Singh’s last election and ‘Chaudhary Sahib’ would like to retire from politics “with a bang”.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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