New Delhi: Ahead of the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Jat leaders in the national capital on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, BJP MP Satyapal Singh and Parvesh Verma. Western Uttar Pradesh BJP leaders Mohit Beniwal and Captain Abhimanyu were also present at the meeting. More than 200 Jat leaders were called in this meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had held meetings with Jat leaders before the elections in 2014 and 2017. Before the first phase of polling to be held in Uttar Pradesh on February 10, today's meeting of Shah with Jat leaders is considered important.
The contest in Western Uttar Pradesh has become very challenging for BJP especially after Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) formed an alliance. In today's meeting, many Jat leaders from different areas of western Uttar Pradesh have participated.
BJP has so far announced the names of 204 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. These include around 80 OBC leaders and more than one and a half dozen Jat candidates. Similarly, RLD has fielded more than 10 Jat leaders in its list of 33 candidates.
Today's meeting also carries significance as after the 13-month-long farmers' agitation, it is believed that the Jat community in western Uttar Pradesh is angry with the current BJP government. The meeting can be seen as an effort to quell the resentment among the Jat community against BJP. However, the BJP leaders are categorically denying that Jat leaders are angry against the party.
BJP MP from Baghpat, Satyapal Singh said that no Jat leader or member of the Jat community is angry with the party. "Such a meeting is not being held for the first time. Before this, meetings with the Brahmin community and other sections of society have been held. Every section of the society will make the Bharatiya Janata Party alliance win," Singh said.
On SP-RLD coalition, Satyapal Singh said, "There is no support base of SP and RLD on the ground."
Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, known to be one of the biggest leaders of the Jat community in western Uttar Pradesh, said that today's meeting is on the agenda of the elections. He said the meeting was supposed to be held earlier but could not be held due to the COVID situation.
On the resentment of the farmers of the Jat belt, Sanjeev Balyan said, "This perception is created before the elections but in the elections, Jats always vote for the BJP. Jats have always voted for the BJP. They voted for BJP in 2014, 2017 and in 2019. I hope that this time also Jats will vote for BJP. Nobody wants Akhilesh Yadav to become the chief minister in Uttar Pradesh."
Elections for the 403 Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.