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BJP to honour UP riots accused MLAs at Modi's rally

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, November 19, 2013
First Published: 13:10 IST(19/11/2013) | Last Updated: 09:33 IST(21/11/2013)

In an obvious bid to perk up its workers in the state, the BJP will felicitate its two Muzaffarnagar MLAs, Sangeet Singh Som and Suresh Rana, during BJP's prime minister candidate Narendra Modi’s rally in Agra on November 21.

Sources, however, revealed that the party was planning to felicitate the two MLAs, who were still to be acquitted of other charges including inciting riots, well before Narendra Modi reaches the dais.

This is Modi’s first rally in the state after the court granted bail to the two MLAs after the state government had to revoke their detention under the National Security Act (NSA) which it had slapped on them for their alleged role in the Muzaffarnagar communal riots.

“Since false charges were leveled against Sangeet Singh Som and Suresh Rana and they were illegally detained under the NSA forcing them to remain in jail even during festivals of Dussehra and Diwali, the party has decided to honour both its MLAs at Narendra Modi rally in Agra on November 21,” BJP state president Laxmi Kant Bajpayee told the HT.

Som, who was arrested for his alleged role in inciting communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, was recently released on bail by a Deoband court.

He was accused of uploading a fake video that played a role in provoking communal tension in Muzaffarnagar. He is also facing allegations of having made inflammatory speeches.

Rana was arrested from Lucknow on September 20 for his alleged role in fanning the communal violence which left 62 persons dead and rendered 40,000 homeless. He was later released on bail.

READ: Why is Modi focusing more on UP?

November 21 will be decisive for both the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, as two political bigwigs—Mulayam Singh Yadav and Narendra Modi, both vying for the prime ministerial spot—will address two mega rallies at Bareilly and Agra.

READ: SP a true protector of minorities: Mulayam

The situation is likely to get trickier as the Congress has also planned a rally in the state capital on the same day to press for the implementation of the Food Security Bill.

Political analysts believe the rallies would reveal the actual influence the parties, especially the personalities, wield over the region.

Amid speculations, all the parties are busy amassing support for their rallies. Sources say, with large number of marriages scheduled from November 20 and 22 hiring vehicles and whipping up support have become difficult. So much so that the BJP is hiring buses from Delhi, Haryana and other nearby districts.

BJP activists from Aligarh will join the Modi rally in Agra in 700 buses. BJP district president Devraj Singh told Hindustan Times, “The responsibilities for the rally have been entrusted and Khair, Atrauli, Charra, Barauli and Iglas assembly segments have been directed to pool 100 buses each.”

The SP too is leaving no stone unturned to collect more and more people for Mulayam’s rally. “People from Aligarh will be ferried to Bareilly as per their assembly constituency in 125 buses and 800 cars. The leaders have recently met to lay down a strategy for a successful Bareilly rally,” said Rakashpal Singh, Aligarh district president of SP.

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