BJP's attempt to polarise backfires

BJP's attempt to polarise backfires

Sachin Pilot defeated Khan with a margin of 54,179 votes in the Muslim-dominated seat. PTI Photo

The BJP's attempt at polarisation has backfired with the party having won just two of the 18 seats in the Mewat region, which is infamous for vigilante crimes and the mob lynching of dairy farmers Pehlu Khan, Umar Khan and Akbar Khan.

In 2013, the BJP had won all the seats in Mewat region.

The election for the Ramgarh region in Mewat was, however, postponed due to the death of BSP candidate Lakshman Singh.

The saffron party had left no stone unturned to set a tone of polarisation. BJP star campaigner Yogi Adityanath, known to set such a tone, had addressed rallies in all constituencies from where the Congress fielded Muslim candidates.

However, out of 14 candidates fielded by Congress, seven managed to win. This is in stark contrast to the 2013 when none of the Congress' Muslim candidates had won.

The Muslim candidates from the Congress who won are: Zahida Khan (Kama), Danish Abrar (Sawai Madopur), Rafeeq Khan (Adarsh Nagar), Amin Kagzi (Kishanpole), Amin Khan (Sheo) Saleh Mohammad (Pokarahan) and Kakim Ali (Fatehpur).

Moreover, the BJP attempt to win Tonk by fielding its only Muslim candidate, Yoonus Khan, against Sachin Pilot also flanked.

Pilot, who was contesting Assembly elections for the first time, defeated Khan with a margin of 54,179 votes in the Muslim-dominated seat.

"The move to polarise voters has failed miserably and it's high time for the BJP to understand this. The  results in Rajasthan are an indication of this," state Congress chief Sachin Pilot told DH.

The 41-year-old Pilot so far has successfully contested in two Lok Sabha polls, in 2004 and 2009. He had served as a Union minister in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet between 2012 and 2014.

Of the 11 Assembly seats under the Alwar parliamentary constituency, which was won by Congress in a by-election earlier this year, the BJP won just two — Alwar Urban by Sanjay Sharma and Mundawar by Manjit Dharampal Choudhari.

"People decided to vote for change. All their attempts to polarise voters have failed," political observer Ashfaq Kayamkhani told DH.

Pokhran was a hot seat for the elections, where both Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Adityanath had campaigned. The seat saw a tough fight between son of the fakir Saleh Mohammad and temple priest Pratap Puri, but Mohammad won.