Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued a warning today to “religious fanatics with Talibani mindset” who dream of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” (holy conquest of India) – a term often used by Pakistan-based radical Islamists. No matter they remain or not, India will be governed according to the Constitution and not “Shariat”(Islamic religious law), read his tweet, which ended with “Jai Shri Ram”.
The Chief Minister had made a reference to Shariyat yesterday too while speaking on the controversy over hijab (headscarves). “India will be run by the Constitution of India and not by Shariat. Some people are trying to raise the issue unnecessarily,” he told reporters when asked about the matter.
Still, many on social media called the tweet another attempt at polarisation, coming as it does ahead of the second phase of polling on 55 seats. Many of the seats in this phase have a sizeable population of Muslim voters influenced by religious leaders of the Barelvi and Deoband sects, and are considered strongholds of the Samajwadi Party.
‘गजवा-ए-हिन्द’ का सपना देखने वाले ‘तालिबानी सोच’ के ‘मजहबी उन्मादी’ यह बात गांठ बांध लें…
वो रहें या न रहें
भारत शरीयत के हिसाब से नहीं, संविधान के हिसाब से ही चलेगा।
जय श्री राम!
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) February 13, 2022
Uttar Pradesh has seen a largely polarised campaign, especially in western parts of the state, where voting patterns had largely changed since the Muzaffarnagar violence of 2013. Both BJP and the Samajwadi Party have made tit-for-tat allegations of communalism.
In his addresses at the election rallies in Rajepur and Kamalganj today, Yogi Adityanath alleged that the Samajwadi Party government wanted to make an “Islamabad” out of Bhojpur.
The Chief Minister has repeatedly accused the opposition Samajwadi Party of being supporters of Pakistan and its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
As before the 2017 elections, there have been references to graveyards.
Two days ago, speaking at Shahjahanpur, he made another reference to graveyards, saying, “I asked the former CM and Samajwadi Party Chief (Akhilesh Yadav) where he has done any development, he said he made the boundary walls of graveyards. If he could get votes with boundaries of graveyards, BJP is giving the treatment.”
Dubbing Akhilesh Yadav a “babua” (little boy), the Chief Minister has made multiple references to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav as “abba jaan”.
The BJP’s chief strategist Amit Shah had campaigned in Kairana, the Ground Zero of an alleged Hindu exodus in 2016.
Yogi Adityanath has also claimed that no communal riots broke out during his tenure while they had almost doubled during the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, seen this time as the big challenger to the BJP.
Last week, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, in an attack on the BJP, said Muzaffarnagar is “not a stadium for Hindu-Muslim matches”. “Western Uttar Pradesh wants to talk about development. Those talking about Hindu, Muslim, Jinnah, religion will lose votes. Muzaffarnagar is not a stadium for Hindu-Muslim matches,” Mr Tikait said in a tweet in Hindi.
UP elections 2022 has been scheduled to be held in seven phases – February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3 and 7.