‘I’m A BJP Supporter But Don’t Want Yogi To Be CM Again’

Rahul Jaiswal, 30, from Deoria in Uttar Pradesh, says he will not vote for BJP this time as Chief Minister Yogi promotes negativity among polity

I am an ardent supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party. If you follow Uttar Pradesh politics closely, my surname is enough for you to presume my political leaning. The entire Jaiswal community in the state forms the core BJP support base and my ideology is no different from the community. For as long as I can recall, I have been voting in favour of the BJP –Assembly elections, Lok Sabha elections, or local body elections.

But this time, I am not rooting for the party. Well, I am not voting for Yogi ji specifically. He’s the Chief Ministerial face of the BJP and if the party wins, he will be the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh again. I don’t support his brand of politics and way of governance.

Yogi is very short-sighted in his approach. His vision is myopic and devoid of any fruitful outcome. If you look at his major decisions in the past, you can see he has failed to provide a single positive result to the masses.

All those things which he is recognised with – bulldozer, police raj, and fake encounters – are related with destruction, negativity and profiling. Even his laws for the safety of cows couldn’t yield a positive outcome; the stray cattle have turned into a menace now.

I want to make it clear that I want all the things that Yogi ji proclaims to achieve. I want the land mafia raj to end. I want my state to be crime-free. I want cows to be protected. But, the way these targets have been sought to achieve by the chief minister has brought about more devastation than progress.

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He brought the protection law for cows and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for this. But I want to know where are sheds for abandoned cows! I want to know why this state still has one of the highest crime rates in the country! After killing criminals, why are police now targeting innocent people? We saw what happened in Gorakhpur when police killed an innocent businessman and labeled him a criminal.

The state has become a laughing stock nationally. All those grievances which we had against other parties in the UP are now laid at the doors of the BJP. It has acquired all the shortcomings of other parties and is no different from them any longer. Probably, Yogi ji thinks that his voter base doesn’t see or hear things and is blinded by the love for the party.

I don’t know whether the situation in Uttar Pradesh will improve if Samajwadi Party comes to power. Currently, I am looking at the present and the scenario looks bleak. I think UP needs change for now. No political party or leader should feel complacent. Political leaders must know that the ultimate power rests in the hands of us the people.

As told to Md Tausif Alam

‘Yogi Has Done Good Work In UP, But Polarised Society Too’

Shubham Singh, 31, IT professional, says the pandemic has shown us how important it is to choose the right leader for one’s constituency

I have voted in every election, ever since I turned 18. I always make sure to take a good, hard look at the work and profile of the candidates in the contest. In the coming Uttar Pradesh elections, I feel the Ram Mandir verdict isn’t going to play a very important role. For, that issue is over and done with; now the voters are looking at everyday issues. The focus is back on poverty alleviation, education, infrastructure development etc.

I have been working in Delhi since 2014, but I return to my home state UP every time I am supposed to vote. However, for the past two years, like most people, I have been working from home. And in these two years I have had a better understanding of the ‘state’ of affairs around me.

As someone who has lived in Delhi, I can see that the communal tension does raise its head many times. And I have noticed the BJP government has been doing some good infrastructure development work on roads and bridges, Rapid Metro Project, Ganga Expressway Project etc. Personally I am happy about the work done on the Delhi-Moradabad Highway on NH-24. Indeed, if there is one state that has benefitted from what the BJP says “double engine ki Sarkar” then it is Uttar Pradesh.

Singh feels the youth must ask questions from their elected leaders

Having said that, we cannot ignore the fact that the groundwork for these were laid by the Samajwadi Party government. Marketing matters a lot during elections. Most people only remember the work done in the last one or two years of a party’s tenure, whereas the public should scrutinise all five years, the choice of candidates etc.

All around me, I see youngsters becoming focussed on entertainment (making short video reels for social media is their favourite pastime). They have forgotten to ask the right questions to leaders, say for example the dissatisfactory employment opportunities in the state.

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Communal polarisation triggered by the BJP is a sticky point for me. But I also feel that the Muslim community needs to be more confident rather than giving in to victim mentality and not being able to see any good work done by the BJP. For example, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a good initiative, yet many people find it hard to praise it.

People need to show exemplary analytical skills in these elections because as the pandemic has shown us, choosing a good local leader plays a very important role in handling a calamity. One should vote as an individual, not as a Hindu or Muslim. Sarv Dharm Sambhav is an important aspect of our lives here in UP. And seriously every reasonable person has begun to feel that the Hindu-Muslim narrative has begun to get a little too much.

Still If I had to choose between Yogi Adityanath and Akhilesh Yadav, I would go with Yogi Adityanath. The crime rate has come down, government machinery has picked up pace. If anti-social elements are scared, so are certain police officials who cross the line.

As about Asaduddin Owaisi and his party AIMIM, I believe it is BJP’s B-Party and is here just for cutting the vote base. Outside candidates don’t have a good understanding of local issues and neither are they able to build a strong connection with the natives. A case in point is Mohammad Azharuddin who contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 from Moradabad, won, and made few appearances afterwards. A local leader should be given more importance, at least he/she can be held accountable by the public. Now Azharuddin is busy with Telengana.

Being rooted is very important for a politician. The youth is aware, but all youngsters need to step up on their rights and duties if we want to see a flourishing political atmosphere where everyone’s issues are well-represented and solved.

#Lynch Mob IV – ‘BJP Fanned Vigilantism’

Ajay Prakash Agarwal says gau rakshaks got bad media only after 2014 when the BJP government came to power at the Centre. This incited a violent form of saffron activism which celebrated majoritarian aggression. Gau seva, the duty of a gau rakshak, says Agarwal, lies in serving and saving the bovine, not harming another living being.   I am a gau rakshak. And I find it painful how this term has come to spawn terror in the minds of common people. I am aware that many violent vigilantes have declared themselves messiahs of the gau vansh (bovine species) by merely flaunting a saffron scarf and they go about threatening people. They are just gangsters who think they can get away with murder in the name of cow protection. The truth is serving cows is considered equal to serving gods in our religious texts. And there is no space for violence in this religious service. I have been doing gau seva for over two decades. Our sole aim is to tend sick and old cows. In the times when stray cattle are dying from ingesting polythene and hazardous waste, it is the duty of every human being and animal lover to help the situation. The vigilante mobs are only harming the cause by getting every gaushala (cow pen) labelled as mobsters den. I had a religious bend of mind from an early age. I devoured many religious texts and it led to my association with Gita Press. In 1998, the trust which runs the press decided to set up Govind Gaushala in Gorakhpur. Always in love with this gentle, bovine animal, I dedicated my life to serving them at the shelter. Volunteers at Govind Gaushala rescue ailing cows and bring them to the shelter for treatment. We have been quietly doing this work for over 20 years and no one bothered about us much. But then came 2014. The BJP government at the Centre fanned a militant form of Hinduism, where the bhagwadhari (saffron-clad) would lynch people in the name of gau raksha. The result: people who genuinely work for the cause are being looked down upon. Years of dedication and servitude have been laid to zilch, thanks to certain anti-social elements. Things are still in control in Gorakhpur as these self-styled gau rakshaks haven’t been able to cause much trouble here. We are proud of our work. An ailing cow, on the side of the street, would have gone unnoticed earlier but now people have begun to take notice. More people are reporting sick cows and cases of cattle smuggling to us. People here know about us and our work and promptly report any untoward incident or a sick cow. Our gaushala has over 450 cows, oxen and calves. Besides the Trust donation, we are getting help from the government of Uttar Pradesh too. My appeal to LokMarg readers is: We have spent all our lives in the service of cows. Due to some miscreants, please do not label all gau rakshaks as villains. We believe that we serve God by taking care of a sick animal. Violence is not what we preach. And for the self-styled gau rakshaks: Come, join us and you would know what gau raksha is all about.  ]]>