LUCKNOW: Eyeing the dominant Jat community’s support in the upcoming Assembly elections in UP, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has drawn a two-day extensive programme to celebrate 114th birth
anniversary of the leader and former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh across five divisons of western UP on December 22 and 23.
According to party spokesman Dr Chandramohan, different programmes including Kisan Samman Sammelans (farmers’ convention) would be organised in almost all the districts covered under five divisions -- Meerut, Moradabad, Taranpur, Aligarh and Agra. While many senior state BJP leaders like Satya Pal Singh, Vijay Pal Tomar and Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan are expected to be present during the two-day programme in different districts, party’s state chief Keshav Kumar Maurya is likely to take part in the programmes planned at former Charan Singh’s native village Nurpur Mawaiya in Hapur district on December 23.
Former UP CM Chaudhary Charan Singh, who had a brief six-month stint as fifth Prime Minister of India after the Janata Party rule in late 70s, was a jat kisan leader who spearheaded many movements for the rights of the farmers in western UP and also a played a key role in bringing in land reforms.
Jats constitute almost 17% of the total population in west UP and play a key role in results in about 19 districts comprising 90 seats in state assembly. In districts like Meerut, Baghpat, Mathura, Hapur, Jats form a formidable 30-40% of population.
While Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) led by Charan Singh’s son Ajit Singh has been doing well in this belt and has been a six-time MP from Baghpat, BJP, helped by a sharp communal polarization in the region following 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, swept all the seats. Ajit Singh himself lost to former Mumbai police
commissioner Satya Pal Singh. Jats came out on droves to vote for the saffron party. “After 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, Jats turned to the BJP as the SP government in the state had failed to put leash on the lawlessness which had hit the the life of common people hard,” says BJP spokesman Dr Chandramohan.
A senior RLD leader however called it a political stunt. “BJP is doing all the programmes with an eye on upcoming Assembly polls to woo the farmers’ community otherwise they don’t have a right to celebrate this day,” he said. A BJP leader said that the party would celebrate the Kisan leader and former Prime
Minister’s birth anniversary since he was a national icon and national icons were beyond party affiliations.