JAIPUR: What’s similar between Gujarat’s Narendra Modi and Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot? Neither CM has been invited by their respective parties to canvass for votes in Uttar Pradesh. Congress sources say Gehlot, who campaigned in some places during the recently-held Uttarakhand Assembly polls, is not finding any takers in UP. “He’s being avoided by Congress candidates, especially in minority-dominated areas,” the Congress source added.
Party sources attribute it to the dissatisfaction among Muslims after the violence in Gopalgarh in Bharatpur district, that claimed the lives of 10 Meo Muslims in September last year.
To make things worse, a section of Meo Muslims of Mewat, a region that includes Alwar and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Nuh Mewat in Haryana and Mathura and Agra in UP, have decided to oppose the Congress in UP, and a team of Meo Muslims have been formed to campaign in 18 UP constituencies that border Rajasthan.
“As CM, Gehlot failed to take timely action in favour of the minorities, after the violence,” said Sher Mohammad, a Muslim representative in Alwar. “The team will visit Muslim-dominated villages in these 18 constituencies, and tell voters what happened during the violence,” he said.
Sources said due to these protests, Gehlot is being deliberately kept away from campaigning in UP. “Even if he goes to UP, he’ll not address more than few meetings, that too in areas where minorities are less in numbers,” said a party worker.