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Is the BJP targeting Haryana's Jat community?

By Syed Firdaus Ashraf
March 15, 2024 09:30 IST
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'The BJP has started a war-like situation against farmers and the Jat community.'

IMAGE: Haryana police fire tear gas shells to disperse farmers during their Delhi Chalo march, at the Shambhu border (Punjab-Haryana), Patiala, February 22, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

What is the message the Bharatiya Janata Party is sending out from its change of guard in Haryana, where Manohal Lal Khattar has been replaced as chief minister by Nayab Singh Saini and the breakup with Dushyan Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party?

Part 1: 'PM Modi wants BJP leaders with no spine'

Pushpendra Singh, president, Kisan Shakti Singh, believes that the BJP has realised that the Jats, the dominant community of Haryana, won't vote for them in 2024.

 

In the second and final part of his interview, Singh tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com, “In Haryana it was given that a Jat chief minister would take oath but this is no longer the case.”

If the Jat community is so unhappy why did they vote for the BJP in the 2022 assembly election in such huge numbers? They won 86 seats out of 125 in Jat land of Western Uttar Pradesh.

The Jats of Uttar Pradesh were not beaten by the police like in Haryana.

In Haryana, the Jats were beaten by the police so the anger is more.

In Uttar Pradesh the police only barricaded the roads so the farmers could not go and protest in Delhi against the farm laws. They did not face atrocities.

But let me remind you that in 2017, Jayant Chaudhary's party Rashtriya Lok Dal had won only one seat and that MLA too went to the BJP.

In 2022 they got nine MLAs from Western Uttar Pradesh after contesting against the BJP.

In 2017, the BJP won 300 seats in the UP assembly which was reduced to 255. They lost 45 seats.

PM Modi is saying this time the BJP will win 370 Lok Sabha seats and mentions Modi ki guarantee. Do you believe they can reach this figure?

Nobody believes in Modi ki guarantee. The only guarantee people believe in Modi is that his guarantee is a lie.

He spoke of doubling farmers' income by 2022, this never happened.

He had spoken of giving legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price, this too did not happen.

Today, there is a lot of distress in rural India.

The election wave is against the BJP in states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

It is only the alliance of opposition that matters, on how they strike it. If they do the right kind of alliance, then it won't be easy for the BJP.

In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Yadav community is very much against the BJP, just like Jats have turned against them in Haryana.

The only difference is that in UP and Bihar the Yadav community is being slyly discriminated and not openly as the Jats in Haryana.

They accommodated Jayant Chaudhary in their fold, though this has not led to a movement of Jats going with the BJP.

Will replacing Khattar as chief minister make a difference to the BJP's prospects in the general elections? Will they be able to win 10 out of 10 seats in Haryana?

This is a last minute pitch they are making to counter Rahul Gandhi's social justice plank. To counter him they are saying see, we made an OBC chief minister in Madhya Pradesh or Nayab Singh Saini in Haryana.

They are making such moves without realising that the real issue in our country is unemployment.

The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer.

Electoral bond details will expose them more and in the coming days we all will come to know which company paid them money and which company benefited.

Will Ram Mandir not help the BJP?

It worked only for 10 days after January 22. Now people are looking for jobs.

The youth who were 20 years old in 2014 are jobless in 2024. They are 30 years old now without a job and unmarried because nobody wants to marry them.

Go to villages and you will find that young Indians are doing running practice in the hope they will get into the Army. Now that prospect also has no future because schemes like Agniveer does not give them employment for more than four years.

The BJP has started a war-like situation against farmers and the Jat community. They are using it like a punch.

Punch?

Yes, against the farming community; five punches or in Hindi you call it paanch.

Be it Yadavs, Gujjars, Kurmis, Jats, Marathas or Patels of Gujarat.

The first punch of the BJP is that it has a strategy to weaken the agriculture sector.

They want to ensure the communities that are dependent on agriculture must not be able to resist against them.

The Jat community lives closer to Delhi and they give the most resistance to the government and they ensured the government withdrew the three farm laws.

The second punch against Jats is where we were strong and that was in the field of sports. They put a man like Brijbhushan Singh in such a place who was openly exploiting girl athletes.

Third punch they gave us when the BJP turned back on its promise on Jat reservation.

PM Modi had said that maine Jaaton ka namak khaya hai (I have eaten food at Jat homes), I will give you reservation (external link). 

Fourth punch to Jats is that there is no future in army jobs because of Agniveer.

Fifth punch is the BJP wants to finish off the Jats politically.

In Haryana it was given that a Jat chief minister would take oath but this is no longer the case.

In central government there used to be 3-4 cabinet ministers once upon a time which is now reduced to only one, and that too an insignificant leader.

Are you implying the BJP is trying to marginalise the dominant castes in different states and bring other backward castes to higher positions?

They are doing that to Marathas in Maharashtra, Jats in Haryana and Patels in Gujarat.

They do not want to bring other backward caste community to higher positions but they are ensuring these dominant castes should remain subdued.

The BJP is doing this because they do not want anyone to fight against them.

It is only the dominant caste of different states that takes on a fight against the wrong policies of the BJP. The other castes members do not take such a step.

Tomorrow, if PM Modi imposes emergency in India, Indian Muslims will not do anything as they are already scared.

The Muslim community has surrendered now (post-CAA protest which was futile).

Other smaller communities do not take on the BJP's policies which are wrong.

It is only the Jat community located around Delhi who takes on the Modi government's wrong policies.

Be it Sikh Jats, Hindu Jats or even Muslim Jats, they take on the government.

In Gujarat it is the Patel community that is capable of taking on the BJP.

In Maharashtra it is the Maratha community that has the potential to take on the BJP.

In UP and Bihar it is the Yadav community that has the capacity to take on the BJP.

All these communities have the power and will to fight against the BJP's wrong policies on behalf of the rest of the people.

These communities are ready to fight to save the Constitution and the farming community.

And the BJP is targeting the farming communities who have become their voters because of (Hindu) religion.

They are distributing free rations of 5 kg and keeping them weak.

This will ensure that the farming community will not be able to resist them or their wrong policies.

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf / Rediff.com