UP: Now, BJP embroiled in row over ancient king's caste

Uttar Pradesh: After Jat anger, BJP embroiled in row over King Mihir Bhoj's caste

The controversy erupted soon after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath unveiled a statue of 'Mihirbhoja' at a degree college in Dadri

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. Credit: PTI File Photo

Already facing the wrath of the 'jats' who have been at the forefront of the ongoing farmers' agitation against the farm laws, a controversy over the 9th century Hindu king 'Mihir Bhoja' threatens to add to the BJP's woes in Western Uttar Pradesh region ahead of the next Assembly polls in the state due in six months' time.

The controversy erupted soon after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath unveiled a statue of 'Mihir Bhoja' at a degree college in Dadri in Gautam Budh Nagar district last week, sparking a debate over the king's caste.

While the 'Gujjar' community claims that 'Mihir Bhoja' hailed from their community, the powerful 'Rajput' community claims that he was a member of their community. According to history books, 'Mihir Bhoja' hailed from the 'Gurjar-Pratihar' dynasty.

Also Read | Mihir Bhoj caste row: UP CM Adityanath's name on plaque smeared with black paint, probe on

The 'Rajput' community had warned of an agitation if Adityanath went ahead with the unveiling ceremony.

On Tuesday, the plaque carrying the name of Adityanath, which was fixed below the statue of the King, was smeared with black paint by unidentified people.

The plaque earlier mentioned the word 'Gurjar', much to the anger of the community, but the words 'Gurjar Pratihar Samrat Mihir Bhoja' were added later.

The addition however did little to pacify the 'Rajput' community as its members have threatened to launch an agitation to register their protest, according to sources.

Mihir Bhoja is widely respected in the Gujjar community and there are many educational institutions after him in several western UP districts, including Baghpat, Shamli, Ghaziabad and others.

The matter appeared to have made it on the agenda of the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP, which slammed the saffron party over the controversy.

''BJP is playing with history,'' SP president Akhilesh Yadav said on Tuesday. BSP supremo Mayawati also joined the issue and demanded an apology from the BJP government.

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