Religious polarisation boomerangs on BJP in Alwar

Religious polarisation boomerangs on BJP in Alwar

Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje

As Hindu-Muslim polarisation escalates in Alwar, the battle becomes tough for the ruling BJP, especially after losing the Lok Sabha seat in the bypolls.

Analysts say due to Hindu-Muslim polarisation there are little chances for the BJP to regain the seat. Both Congress and BJP, however, are trying their best to get hold of Alwar division, which has six Assembly seats. 
According to political analysts, the results of the Lok Sabha bypoll showed that not even a single BJP candidate won a single Assembly segment of the two parliamentary constituencies, losing even urban votes in Alwar and Ajmer city – the party’s bastions.

Alwar division will be one of the toughest territories for the BJP to get hold of, especially after the communities have been polarised owing to the rise in cow-related crimes.

Some parts of the Alwar (Mewat) has been in news in the past two years for lynchings in the name of the cow, starting with the killing of Pehlu Khan in 2017, and more recently Akbar Khan, who was lynched on the suspicion of cow smuggling.

According to Muslim community leaders, Gyan Dev Ahuja, a BJP lawmaker, who has openly supported cow vigilantism, is one of the biggest reasons of the divide being created in that belt.

"Muslims smuggle cows, we will fight against them. They have no right to stay in Alwar. If they continue to live here, they will turn Alwar into mini Pakistan," Gyan Dev Ahuja told DH during an election campaign. 
And recently, things have gone worse for the saffron party after two BJP leaders, Rohitash Sharma and Devi Singh Shekhawat, got engaged in a heated argument, followed by a brief fistfight. Interestingly, the two colleagues lost their cool in front of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who was the chief guest at the event. 

According to sources, the BJP is now planning to change its strategy and will be looking at local issues and caste equations before selecting the candidate for the seat.

In the last Assembly election in 2013, the BJP won nine of Alwar's 11 Assembly seats and won the Alwar Lok Sabha seat n 2014. However, they lost the seat to the Congress in the 2018 bypolls.