‘Yogi Wants To Divide & Rule, But We All Want Bijli, Sadak, Pani’

Zeeshan Alvi, 30, a Block Development Council member in Baramau (Kanpur), says Yogi’s poll campaign whitewashed good work of SP Govt and brainwashed people on communal lines

I can say with confidence that a huge number of Muslims have invested their trust in Samajwadi Party and its leadership in Uttar Pradesh, the state with the largest Muslim population. As per records nearly 79% Muslims voted for SP in the recently concluded Assembly elections. You can also say that a pro-SP vote can be counted as a vote against the divisive politics of the BJP.

It is true that more Muslims were killed in Muzaffarnagar riots under SP rule as compared to the BJP rule, but the constant fear of being lynched or discriminated against was not there. The 80-20 factor did play a major role in these elections. People have been divided along religious lines. Perhaps they will understand the futility of this when they face difficulty in basic issues such as education, employment and other amenities.

Akhilesh Yadav has always given premium to education and employment and finding solutions to problems that plague us now, rather than talking about the past. According to me, the BJP has already begun preparing for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and The Kashmir Files is the first stepping stone. BJP is about righting wrongs of the past while we need a future-oriented leadership.

Having said that, other parties should learn planning and strategy from the BJP, just having good intentions for the public will not work if it is not advertised to the public. Look at BJP, they put so much effort into advertising. Even the stadium that CM Yogi Adityanath took his oath in, was built by the Akhilesh Yadav government. People have short term memory about the development work.

Alvi says BJP has started preparing for the next Lok Sabha elections

Muslims chose the SP even over Owaisi-led AIMIM because we want development and inclusiveness. We want someone who can understand all sections of society and to me Akhilesh Yadav is an able leader. Many people say that the crime rate has come down under Yogi Adityanath. I believe the crime rate was under control during SP’s reign too. Just that they didn’t tom-tom about their work.

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The UP electorate rejected almost every one else apart from BJP and SP. But I would say SP won its seats without playing divisive politics. I feel BJP has brainwashed the janata into believing we are different, but deep down we are all the same: we all want bijli, sadak, pani, education, jobs etc. Let’s hope people will open their eyes by 2024.

I hope local leaders like us will be able to bring about change, be it an independent candidate like me or those belonging to any party. I have actively been involved in politics since my college days and have good understanding of the ground reality.

People will soon tire of issues like the hijab controversy or any such thing which divides them and I hope that in the next Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, SP will fare even better than this year and the politics of hatred will be defeated. I rue the fact that no MLA from Kanpur has been given a ministerial berth in the Yogi cabinet, despite it being such an important constituency.

As told to Yog Maya Singh

‘Why I Don’t Want Yogi To Become Chief Minister Again’

Mohammed Ahmed Ansari, a lawyer in Allahabad High Court and a social worker, spells out why it is dangerous to elect leaders like Yogi Adityanath

A couple of days back, Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi was addressing a public meeting in Bulandshahr, western UP where he made a reference to his political opponents. He said: ‘10 March ke baad inki saari garmi shaant kar denge’ (Will bring all their energy down after poll results). Does this kind of foul language suit the office of a chief minister? The video clips of this speech is in public domain and widely circulated.

There are other speeches where he refers the Muslim population of his state as “those who speak abbajaan (father in Urdu)” and slyly uses 80-versus-20 slogan in an indirect reference to the national percentage of Hindus and Muslims. How can a person who is openly divisive and communal in his conduct and speeches deserve to be the head of a state?

Article 21 of the Constitution gives everyone the protection of life and personal liberty. Now see what Yogi Ji is saying through public platforms: ‘Earlier government used to give funds for kabristaan, we are building shamshan ghats.’ This is as barefaced as our chief minister can get to polarise its people.

Ansari lists out inflammatory speeches made by Yogi Adityanath

The people of Uttar Pradesh take pride in its Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (an inclusive ethos). In Allahabad, every year I lead a small team of volunteers to put up tents and eateries near the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna for the pilgrims who come for a holy dip at Kumbh. We celebrate each other’s festivals with equal zeal. Hardliners are not happy with this, they are always trying to create rift and tension.

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There are many examples where the current ruling dispensation has tried to target Muslims. Take, for example, the National Register of Citizens. In various public speeches, BJP leaders have said that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Parsis need not worry about it, implying that only Muslims should. The message is all those who cannot find a place in the NRC would be considered refugees under the new citizenship law and get to stay in India, all except Muslims in the same position.

When protests erupted on more than 60 university campuses in India against NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP-ruled states cracked down on them with brutal violence, but none as harshly as in Uttar Pradesh. Should it come as a surprise that the maximum casualties in the protests against CAA-NRC were from Uttar Pradesh?

The Adityanath government sought to blame Muslims for the violence. It has gone to the extent of sending notices to more than 500 Muslim families, seeking to recover damages for loss of public property from them. Recent media reports have disclosed how the officials in UP administration played judge and jury to target innocent families belonging to Muslim community.

Yogi has often called the previous Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav as one of the mafia. He has also attacked Yadav for giving tickets to those with a criminal background. Please go through the list of the BJP candidates; over 100 of them have criminal cases against them. Yogi Ji himself had several criminal cases on him, including those of attempt to murder and instigating riots. He closed down all the cases after becoming the CM.

The election commission should take suo-motto cognizance of his hate speeches. If an elected chief minister is making inflammatory speeches what could you expect from others who are actively want to disturb the peace and harmony of India?

As Told to Rajat Rai