Mewat seeing communal polarisation ahead of polls

A BJP supporter dance outside the rally. DH photo by Suman Sarkar

As elections are round the corner, Mewat region of Rajasthan, where three cattle farmers were lynched over the suspicious of cow smuggling is witnessing palpable polarisation along communal lines.

While most of the star campaigners are connecting with the people of Mewat none of them dares to speak about incidents of mob lynching that shook the country in last couple of years. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally on Sunday in Alwar – a Muslim-dominated district kept mum over the lynchings and focused on his caste being insulted by the Congress leaders, with a few Kabir dohas.

The saffron party's attempt to polarise voters became evident after Bharatiya Janta Party fielded its Uttar Pradesh chief minister and firebrand leader Yogi Adityanath as a star campaigner in Rajasthan. He also addressed a rally in Ramgarh, a village 25 km away from Alwar district also infamous after the lynching of Akbar Khan, a dairy farmer who became the alleged target of cow vigilantes.


A BJP supporter and his daughter attend a rally. DH photo by Suman Sarkar

While appealing to people to vote for BJP ’candidates in Alwar, Adityanath said that Lord Hanuman was a Dalit tribal who worked to connect all communities from across the country. While his statement created a controversy but for many who attended his rally this wasn't for the first time they were hearing this statement. "We found his public address intriguing and his remark about Lord Hanuman we have heard this before as well from our MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja", Raju Soni, a resident of Ramgarh told DH. Interestingly earlier in May, Gyan Dev Ahuja, BJP MLA from Ramgarh had said that Lord Hanuman was world’s first tribal leader.
 


BJP supporters returning home after Yogi's rally in Ramgarh in Alwar. DH photo by Suman Sarkar

In 2013, BJP swept all the seats including Ramgarh. However after BJP lost Alwar seat in Lok Sabha bypolls in 2018, the party is doing extra efforts to retain most of the seats in assembly polls Out of the 11 seats in Alwar, Muslim voters can influence the results in six. Alwar also shares its boundary with Bharatpur, which has a sizeable Muslim population.

The Hindutva sentiment has become evocative ahead of the polls in most of the places in Alwar and adjoining Mewat region. Naval Kishore Sharma, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s gau raksha cell’ chief in Ramgarh accepted that saffron party is playing a Hindu card in the region, "Voters have to be clear who to vote for. Its not about divide its about ideology. If a HIndu feels to vote for a HIndu there is nothing wrong in it".  


BJP supporters outside a rally in Rajasthan. DH photo by Suman Sarkar 

 

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Mewat seeing communal polarisation ahead of polls

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