Yogi Adityanath’s false claim on ‘ration diversion’ indicates BJP’s trepidation ahead of crucial UP polls

UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s claim on ‘diversion’ of ration shows that electioneering for 2022 polls has begun in earnest, and that BJP is again using the communal card to try retain power in UP

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: IANS)

Sushil Kutty

Is it time to hold Yogi Adityanath’s feet to the fire? He seems to often forget he's a “respectable” Chief Minister. Besides, how many more months does Yogi Adityanath have as Chief Minister of UP? A maximum of 6 months; perhaps seven or eight months. There are folks who say the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in about three or four months. The question is: will Yogi Adityanath be UP Chief Minister on September 15, 2022? Perhaps not, most probably not.

Even so, he seems to have switched gears and is already in poll mode.

A couple of days ago, while holding forth in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath used ‘abba jaan’ as a slur, claiming that before 2017, the year the Yogi Adityanath got charge of UP, ration allocated for poor Hindus were “swallowed” whole by those owing allegiance to ‘abba jaan’.

In 2017, the BJP used “kabristan-shamshan” to polarize the UP electorate and scored a big victory. Five years later, it’s Yogi Adityanath and his “abba jaan” crack. Point is, the BJP is a repeat offender. Whether the majority of the Uttar Pradesh electorate would follow suit and elect BJP once again to power remains to be seen.

The other night, a set of five journalists met to discuss Yogi’s ‘abba jaan’ dig at the SP and BSP. They concluded that Uttar Pradesh’s ‘abba jaan’ – code name for Muslims – may together wipe clean the BJP from UP’s slate in 2022, with 135 Muslim-dominated constituencies at play against the Yogi.

The prediction is predicated on the premise that there will be opposition unity in 2022, and that Muslims and secular Hindus will vote in one block against the BJP.

Hashtags ‘#Abbajaan’ and ‘#Abbajan’ were trending on Twitter the whole night of September 13 right into September 14, and sections of the media friendly to the BJP were giving their own spin to the story even as talking heads on TV rampaged for and against Yogi Adityanath.

Truly, electioneering for 2022 has begun in earnest, and from what was on display, it promises to be a vile communal jamboree. The gloves are off, so to speak.

Yogi Adityanath said that “back then, before 2017, ration allocated for Kushinagar residents was diverted to Nepal and Bangladesh”, and that under his rule if anybody attempted to “take away ration meant for the poor, that person would land in jail, period.”

But, according to reports, there was no basis for Yogi Adityanath’s claim. For one, ration cards are not issued on the basis of religion. Two, the “ration figures” don’t lend credibility to Yogi Adityanath’s wild claims. In other words Yogi Adityanath was making baseless charges to communalize and gain electorally.

According to government figures, as of today, 3.59 crore ration cards have been issued covering 14.86 crore beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh. Yogi Adityanath took charge of UP on March 19, 2017. Akhilesh Yadav launched the National Food Security Act, 2013 in UP on March 1, 2016.

On November 15, 2016, 14.01 crore people were benefiting from the Food Security Act, i.e., nearly 75 percent of UP’s population. If anything, that number has dropped in the four and a half years of the Yogi’s rule.

(IPA Service)

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