In the run-up to the 2024 general elections, the ruling BJP has planned a massive minority outreach plan under which a series of events are on cards in the days to come in Uttar Pradesh. The first stop is Muzaffarnagar, the district which saw deadly riots in 2013.
The western parts of the state where Muslim voters comprise a significant chunk are going to be in the focus. The party, which had won all the entire 18 west UP seats in 2014, came down five years later as the alliance of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won six seats. It is said that the Muslim heavily voted against the saffron party.
As part of the outreach, the party is going to hold its “Sneh Milan: Ek Desh, Ek DNA Sammelan” next month in Muzaffarnagar. Several top leaders including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP state president Bhupendra Chaudhary, Union Minister and Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan and state minister Somendra Tomar will reportedly attend the event.
BJP Minority Morcha’s state president Kunwar Basit Ali said in almost every Lok Sabha constituency in west UP there are 2.5-3 lakh people on average from these communities whose support the BJP is seeking, according to the Indian Express. Ali said there are around one lakh Muslim Gujjars in Shamli and one lakh Muslim Jats in Muzaffarnagar.
“At these conferences, the party will discuss how Hindu leaders from Jat, Rajpur, Gujjar, and Tyagi communities can be accepted by Muslims of these four caste groups as their leaders. They should not only prefer Muslims from their communities as their leaders,” Ali said.
For outreach, the BJP has nationally identified around 60 Lok Sabha constituencies in 10 states and a Union Territory where religious minority communities comprise more than 30 per cent of the population, reported the paper. The initiative will culminate with a public rally in Delhi in May addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The seats from UP on the party’s list include Bijnor (38.33 per cent), Amroha (37.5 per cent), Kairana (38.53 per cent), Nagina (42 per cent), Sambhal (46 per cent), Muzaffarnagar (37 per cent), and Rampur (49.14 per cent).
The BJP is sharpening its outreach among the backward Pasmanda Muslims. Curiously, this initiative began in Uttar Pradesh. The saffron party aims to exploit the failures of so-called secular parties, including SP, BSP and Congress, in delivering justice to the community. The party will highlight that the secular parties always used Muslims as a “vote bank” and did not give them their due.
-INDIA NEWS STREAM