In what may seem as an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to reach out to their traditional voter base, Union power minister Piyush Goyal said at an event in Noida on Tuesday night that traders have been the worst victims of increasing crime rate in Uttar Pradesh(UP) and only BJP can restore law and order.
“I have been campaigning across UP for the last one week and the kind of news I have heard makes me feel disgusted. Businessmen are being shot at in broad daylight and there is no law and order in the state. We know that our ‘samaaj’(community) has been the worst victims of rising crime. Only BJP is committed towards providing safety to the business community,” he said.
Goyal was speaking at a campaign event in favour of the party’s Noida candidate, Pankaj Singh, at Agarwal Samaj Dharamshala. As the minister belongs to the Vaishya community, many saw this meet as an attempt by the party to woo the trader class.
However, Goyal did not bring up demonetisation at the meet. Neither did Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma nor outgoing Noida MLA Vimla Batham, who were also at the event, touch on the issue that is believed to have polarised voters in poll-bound states. However, the same was a departure from what was seen at recent events where top BJP leaders openly flaunted the demonetisation card to woo voters across UP.
Post demonetisation, the traders are believed to have been hit the hardest and many vendors in Noida are still struggling to adapt to cashless transactions.
He attacked successive governments of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) saying they took the state to the depths of despair during the 15 years they alternated on the UP throne.
“Neither the SP or BSP has been able to provide good governance or safety to the trader community. There is no sense of security and the state has moved backwards in the last few years,” Goyal said.
Attempting to strike a chord with the Vaishya samaj (trader community), Goyal said that his party believes in the ideology of legendary king Agrasen who is believed to have set up a kingdom of traders.
“BJP believes in the ideology of Maharaja Agrasen . We are nationalists and patriots and believe in the welfare of the poor. This is what Maharaja Agrasen believed in. Only BJP is concerned with the welfare of our samaaj,” Goyal said.
However, asked whether he has come to seek votes in the name of a particular community, Goyal was in denial.
“We have not come here to seek votes from any particular community. We are here to connect with the traders and believe in Modiji’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas (inclusive development),” Goyal said.