BJP leaders to attend felicitation of Moradabad violence accused: An attempt to polarize voters?

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86 people, including the district unit chief of BJP, Girish Tyagi, arrested in connection with violence in Moradabad are all set to get felicitated by a social organisation.

Days after the Uttar Pradesh police arrested 86 people, including the district unit chief of BJP, Girish Tyagi, in connection with violence in Moradabad district's Kanth town are all set to get felicitated by a social organisation.

Legal advisor of Amroha unit of Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, which is organising the felicitation programme, Vimal Kishore said 86 people would be felicitated on October 5. BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai and general secretary Sunil Bansal have been invited. Confirming the invitation Bajpai said that if permission was given by the administration he would attend the programme.

What happened in Moradabad violence?

The issue of holding a ‘mahapanchayat' took a violent turn on July 4, 2014 when UP Police briefly detained BJP leaders, including four MPs and an MLA following which party supporters clashed with the police.

The BJP leaders; Amroha MP Kanwar Singh Tanwar, Rampur MP Nepal Singh and Sambhal MP Satyal Saini, along with Sardhana legislator Sangeet Som were headed to the village from where the loudspeaker had been removed.

A ‘mahapanchayat' was called by the State BJP in defiance of the State order over removal of loudspeaker from a temple, which led to communal tension in the area.

On June 26, Moradabad district administration had removed a loudspeaker from a temple in Akbarpur Chendri Nayagaon village, in Kanth town, after complaints that there was no tradition of a loudspeaker at the temple and that it was placed by Moradabad BJP MP. The move was protested by Hindu groups in the area and thereafter clashes broke out.

BJP had called for a mahapanchayat alleging that the loudspeaker was removed at the behest of local MLA Rahman.

As many as 85 people were arrested by the police for stone-pelting, firing and blocking the Moradabad-Saharanpur railway track.

It will increase communal tension

But, one fears that such acts only increase the communal tension in the district where the wounds of violence have not yet healed. Moreover, presence of senior BJP leaders at the venue will give the entire function a political angle.

Also, it will once again alienate another community from the BJP and send negative signals that the party is not concerned about them and in turn felicitating those accused of inciting communal tension.

The Kanth violence had once again proved that the state administration did not learn any lessons during last year's deadly Muzaffarnagar riots. The ruling Samajwadi Party Government's slow pace in settling the dispute and the BJP's intervention in the entire matter showed that both the political parties wanted to gain mileage out of it.

BJP hasn't learnt anything from by-polls defeat?

It seems that the BJP leadership in the Uttar Pradesh has not learnt anything from its mistakes and the failures in the recently concluded by-polls in which the party lost eight of the 11 assembly seats to the ruling Samajwadi Party.

During assembly poll campaigns, the BJP had handed over the party's baton to its vitriolic leader Yogi Adityanath, who tried to polarize the voters with the ‘love jihad' issue. But, to the party's surprise the voters went with the ruling SP candidates instead of the BJP, which had won from all these areas in the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP had won record 71 of the 80 Parliamentary seats from the state in the 2014 general elections.

The party leaders must abstain themselves from participating in such events and also ask the leaders to stop playing politics on such issues. Raising divisive issues won't help the party in 2017 Assembly polls, the party should talk about the development agenda to cement its ground for Mission 2017.

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