UP: Wary of 'Jat anger', BJP turns its focus on Gujjars

Wary of 'Jat anger', BJP turns its focus on Gujjars in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh

In a bid to woo the community, the BJP has decided to organise programs to honour the 9th Century Hindu king 'Mihirbhoja'

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would be unveiling a 12-feet statue of Mihirbhoja. Credit: PTI Photo

Apparently unsure of the support of the Jats, who have been at the forefront of the ongoing farmers' agitation against the farm laws, the BJP has turned its focus on the sizable Gujjar community in western Uttar Pradesh.

In a bid to woo the community, the BJP has decided to organise programs to honour the 9th Century Hindu king Mihirbhoja, who hailed from the 'Gurjar-Pratihar' dynasty.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would be unveiling a 12-feet statue of Mihirbhoja, which had been installed at degree college after the king at Dadri in Gautam Buddh Nagar district on Wednesday.

Adityanath would also be addressing a meeting of the Gujjar community at the college grounds after unveiling the statue. 

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

''Our government is committed to honour the Hindu kings, who fought the foreign invaders valiantly to protect Hinduism,'' said BJP lawmaker from Dadri Tejpal Nagar, a Gujjar.

He rejected assertions that there was any political motive behind the unveiling of the statue of Mihirbhoja.

However, Samajwadi Party (SP) termed the program as another 'electoral stunt' of the saffron party. ''BJP starts remembering the great personalities only when the polls are closer,'' said a senior SP leader.

Controversy however has erupted over calling Mihirbhoja a Gujjar king as the 'Rajputs' have claimed that he hailed from their community. The 'Karni Sena', an outfit of 'Rajputs' has warned of an agitation if Adityanath unveiled the statue.

Barely a few days back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of a university after the popular 'Jat' king Mahendra Pratap Singh at Aligarh. 

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