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RLD's Jayant Chaudhary Slams Rajnath, Says BJP Trying to Paint an Entire Community as Criminals

Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary has slammed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for his speech in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh on Monday and said efforts at polarization will not yield any political dividends for the BJP in the state assembly polls as “people have moved on”.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:November 8, 2016, 6:24 PM IST
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Rajnath Singh
File image of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (Photo Credit: PTI)

Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary has slammed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for his speech in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh on Monday and said efforts at polarization will not yield any political dividends for the BJP in the state assembly polls as “people have moved on”.

“The BJP intends to keep playing the communal card. There may be attempts to defend the minister’s speech saying he was talking about criminal elements. But, in fact, they are trying to paint the entire community as being associated with criminal activities,” the RLD leader told News18.

In his speech while rolling out the BJP’s Parivartan Rath in Western UP, the home minister had stressed said that if voted to power in UP his party will take on the forces that terrorise people. “Jo gundagardi ke aadhaar par logon ke dilon mein dehshat paida karne ka kaam karta hai, behno aur bhaiyon, Bharatiya Janata Party ki sarkar ke aane ke baad, hum dekhenge ki usne kitna ma ka doodh piya hai,” the minister had said.

Chaudhary – grandson of former prime minister Charan Singh and son of former Union minister Ajit Singh – accused the BJP of creating fear among the Hindu community. “Their target is to create an atmosphere of fear, because when people are afraid they do not take rational decisions,” he said.

“Voters are much smarter and perceptive. The turnout at Rajnath Singh’s and Amit Shah’s rallies were not as good as expected. Perhaps that is also the signal that people do not want to hear the same thing again and again… but this is the only weapon in their armory,” he said.

Chaudhary’s RLD is being rumoured to be in talks with the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Congress to thrash out a grand alliance of parties that want to keep BJP at bay in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections slated for early next year.

He said it was too early to talk about any such ‘Mahagatbandhan’ but hinted there indeed was a “positive frame of mind” among the stakeholders.

RLD, thanks the iconic status enjoyed by his late grandfather in the region, has long been a power to reckon with in Western Uttar Pradesh until BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls in the 2014 General elections.

Chaudhary argued the scene has changed now as the atmosphere of polarization has subsided.

“There are changes in Uttar Pradesh politics, and BJP might not be happy to note. The communal tension has subsided. Bogeys like Hindu exodus and Love Jihad don’t have that impact now as it did a few years ago. People have realized that nothing good comes out of it – they have lost jobs, property…social equations get disturbed, ultimately people have to learn to live together,” he said.

Parts of Western UP including the districts of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli witnessed massive communal conflagrations between the dominant Jat community – the core votebase of RLD – and Muslims in late 2013 and early 2014.

Hukum Singh, the BJP MP from Kairana, had stoked the fire recently when he alleged that Hindus were leaving the town en masse.

Chaudhary said crime was a big issue in BJP and it was not something unique to Kairana. The region, he said, needs time for rebuilding trust.

“We are very consciously dissociating with BJP’s ethos, our political positioning is clear,” said Chaudhary, whose party had allied with BJP in the past.

“BJP and their intellectuals talked about Hindutva as something not associated to religion but called it a way of life. This has now moved on to ‘Hindu hith’, it is about keeping the community secure by taking up issues like women’s security etc,” he said.

“What is interesting is this bahu beti ka samman argument was part of Hukum Singh’s Lok Sabha campaign. It still is. So what did he do since then?” he said, adding, “The fact is people have seen through this, they know that it is part of their campaign.”

Chaudhary also slammed the National Human Rights Commission.

“The NHRC report is quite funny. Instead of seeing human rights, they have come out with how Muslim migration affected the demographic. After riots, Muslims moved out and lived in camps, are they to be blamed? The commission was talking like National Hindu Rights Commission. They could have come with a balanced report. The National Commission for Minorities presented a different report. My report proves there was no massive exodus. People move out for job opportunities,” he said.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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