Slippery ground for BJP in Uttar Pradesh

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By Aquib Anjum,
New Delhi: The issue of Jat reservation seems to have resurfaced again; this time in view of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, that begun from February 11. The Jats have started protest demonstrations and meetings in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and parts of Delhi. .
In western parts of UP ,that comprises 77 Assembly seats, Jat community constitutes 17% of population. The Jats are stll protesting for the inclusion of their caste in Other Backward Class (OBC) list of central government and reservation under backward class of Haryana state. Additionally, they demand the drop of cases that were registered against “Jat boys” during last year’s upheaval. The unmet demands have led to a dissent among the community towards the Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP).
“Jat community will not vote for BJP in this election and we will continue with our ongoing protest,” said Yashpal Malik, President, All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti. “Wrong bill was made by Haryana Government, hence the court imposed a stay on it. If government does not fulfill our demand, we will oppose the BJP in 2019 elections as well. BJP betrayed us by promising the reservation but failed to grant it. There is no plan to extend it in other parts of India”, Malik added.
Lavi Chaudhary, a resident of Muzaffarnagar and student of Makhan Lal Chaturvedi University expressed her discontent to the idea of reservation demanded by Jat leaders. “I’ll vote as per my will and sensibility and not according to what Jat leaders say,” said Lavi. She believes that reservation should be based on economic vulnerability and not caste
earlier in february, BJP’s Amit Shah had called a meeting with Jat leaders in Up to muster support from them. BJP’s leadership in UP believes that Jats will stand by the party as they did in 2014. Om Prakash Mathur, BJP’s in-charge in UP, believes that the Jat community will stand by the party as they did in 2014 elections. The community is said to have played an instrumental role in the victory of BJP in 2014 assembly election.
On the other side, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), having a strong hold among Jats of western Uttar Pradesh, also support the demands of Jat community. Masood Ahmed, General Secretary of RLD said, “Jats are not going to vote for BJP.” He also said that his party has done a lot of work for the Jats and will gather a lot of support from the whole section of society.

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