BJP National President Amit Shah with former India cricketer and BJP leader Chetan Chauhan at an election rally in Amroha.(PTI)
BJP National President Amit Shah with former India cricketer and BJP leader Chetan Chauhan at an election rally in Amroha.(PTI)

Cricketer-turned-politician Chetan Chauhan bats for communal polarisation

The Samajwadi Party government has only done vikas for Muslims. Law and order is bad, and most crimes - theft and loot - have been committed by Muslims. And so there is a reaction in the majority community, a polarisation which will benefit the BJP.
By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, Amroha
UPDATED ON FEB 09, 2017 01:41 AM IST

The Samajwadi Party government has only done vikas for Muslims. Law and order is bad, and most crimes - theft and loot - have been committed by Muslims. And so there is a reaction in the majority community, a polarisation which will benefit the BJP.

This is the declared platform of Chetan Chauhan - once India’s opening batsman, then two-time Lok Sabha MP, government-appointed chairperson of National Institute of Fashion Technology, and now playing on another pitch as the MLA candidate of BJP from Amroha’s Naugawan constituency.

To understand how law and order and development - the stated big campaign issues of the UP election for the BJP - can be seamlessly weaved with a narrative of religion-based polarisation, listen to Chauhan.

“A big issue in this election is vikas. The government has done vikas only for its supporters and one community,” he says. Does this mean Yadavs and Muslims? “Not even Yadavs, only Muslims. And so the majority community is feeling let down.”

Chauhan also says law and order is terrible - with rapes, theft, loot and plunder. “There has been goondagardi of one community predominantly, of the minority community. They have committed the most ‘chori’, theft, so there is a reaction.” To clarify, was he suggesting that most of the crimes were committed by minorities? “Yes.”

He also dismissed Mayawati’s claim that law and order was better under her. “I don’t think so. She also showed a preference for the minority community. Minority ministers of her government did the same thing.”

Preference for polarisation

Chauhan’s statement is a part of the BJP’s push in west UP to create - or tap into - a polarised environment like 2014, which paid rich electoral dividends, multiple party leaders confirmed to Hindustan Times.

And for this, they have returned to the themes of ‘love jihad’, now framed as ‘anti-Romeo squad’, ‘minority appeasement’ as articulated by Chauhan and earlier by party leader Sangeet Som, and need for ‘Hindu consolidation’.

A senior leader from east UP, who is an MP and also heads a religious institution, said, “We should have polarised much earlier. We left it late. There has been unnecessary hesitation. We move forward two steps and move back four steps. In the first two phases, this is crucial.”

But other party insiders believe the manifesto itself sent enough signals.

Chandra Mohan, a spokesperson for UP BJP, points to the promise of ‘anti-Romeo’ squad. “It is a reference to Sachin and Gaurav’s killing by a Muslim when they were protecting their sister from harassment, which led to the Muzaffarnagar riots.”

He added that as Muslim political and financial power has grown, ‘because of the SP government protection and illegal work’, Muslim boys have lured Hindu girls, gifted them mobiles and trapped them.

Another BJP leader said the anti-Romeo squad is actually the ‘anti-Salman, anti-Naushad’ squad. The party has, however, been careful not to use the term ‘love jihad’, preferred by many Sangh affiliates.

‘Hindu-Muslim election’

If voices in west UP are any indication, even though the environment is not as surcharged as the last elections, there are enough takers for this narrative.

Ravi Pal, a BSC student in Chauhan’s constituency, says, “This is a Hindu-Muslim election. SP has a Muslim candidate. Three of four SP MLAs here were Muslims. We have to defeat them.”

And this is what Chauhan is relying on.

Will there be polarisation? He replies, “Yes, it will happen at the end.” And is BJP deliberately polarising the polity on religious lines? “No. We are not doing it. It is happening automatically. There is a reaction irrespective of whether we do anything.” And is BJP tapping into that? “It is coming on its own. We will also tap it.”

He also suggests that Hindus this time would not get divided on caste because they have been ‘exploited for five years’, have got ‘hit’, and so are ‘consolidating’. “And if there is a consolidation of the minorities, there will be a consolidation of the majority.”

The extent and spread of this consolidation could well decide BJP’s electoral fortunes in west UP as it heads to polls.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Subhendu Adhikari will contest West Bengal elections from Nandigram seat. (HT File Photo)
Subhendu Adhikari will contest West Bengal elections from Nandigram seat. (HT File Photo)

BJP names 57 candidates for 2 phases of Bengal polls. Full list here 

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:26 PM IST
West Bengal goes to polls in eight phases—March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. The results for the 294 assembly seats will be declared on May 2.
Close
Akhil Gogoi has been under arrest since December 2019 for his role in the violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Assam that claimed five lives. At present, he is admitted at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. (PTI PHOTO).
Akhil Gogoi has been under arrest since December 2019 for his role in the violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Assam that claimed five lives. At present, he is admitted at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. (PTI PHOTO).

Jailed chief of Assam’s Raijor Dal, Akhil Gogoi, to contest from Sibasagar

By Utpal Parashar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:02 PM IST
  • The party, which has a pre-poll tie-up with the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), another new party, announced its first list of 18 candidates for the first two phases of polling, on Saturday.
Close
Trivedi was inducted into the BJP earlier in the day in the presence of party chief JP Nadda.(HT Photo)
Trivedi was inducted into the BJP earlier in the day in the presence of party chief JP Nadda.(HT Photo)

‘He backstabbed us’: Trinamool Congress slams Dinesh Trivedi’s move to BJP

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:08 PM IST
Hitting out at Trivedi's decision to join the BJP, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh told news agency PTI that the leader didn’t say anything against his former party in the last several years and decided to do so just before Bengal was about to go into polling.
Close
West Bengal BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya at Kalighat Hawkers' Market in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI Photo )
West Bengal BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya at Kalighat Hawkers' Market in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI Photo )

Kailash Vijayvargiya holds door-to-door campaign to invite people to Modi rally

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:52 PM IST
The BJP’s campaign for the upcoming assembly elections is in full swing in West Bengal, where the party has set a target of more than 200 seats.
Close
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari will contest Bengal polls from Nandigram seat. ( Samir Jana / HT File Photo )
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari will contest Bengal polls from Nandigram seat. ( Samir Jana / HT File Photo )

It’s Suvendu Adhikari vs Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:46 PM IST
  • The party’s general secretary also announced the names of 56 candidates for the assembly elections out of which 6 candidates were given to women.
Close
Guha said she will speak to BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy and decide her future course of action.(legislativebodiesinindia.nic.in)
Guha said she will speak to BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy and decide her future course of action.(legislativebodiesinindia.nic.in)

Denied ticket for polls, TMC MLA Sonali Guha says she will join BJP

PTI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:04 PM IST
Roy said apart from Guha many other Trinamool MLAs and leaders have contacted him since Friday evening after Banerjee announced the party's candidates for 291 assembly seats in the state.
Close
Party leaders and members of the screening committee are expected to have a video conference with the Congress high command on Saturday to sort out the differences soon. (TWITTER/@ripunbora).
Party leaders and members of the screening committee are expected to have a video conference with the Congress high command on Saturday to sort out the differences soon. (TWITTER/@ripunbora).

Differences among leaders over seats delays Congress list of nominees in Assam

By Utpal Parashar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:02 PM IST
  • Despite several meetings over the past few days, Congress’s screening committee is yet to decide on the list of candidates as some leaders are unhappy with allocation of seats to alliance partners and also with denial of tickets to candidates suggested by them.
Close
Dinesh Bajaj also said that if BJP allows him to contest elections he will do everything possible to win. (ANI/Twitter)
Dinesh Bajaj also said that if BJP allows him to contest elections he will do everything possible to win. (ANI/Twitter)

Hurt by sentiments towards Hindi-speakers: Dinesh Bajaj quits TMC, may join BJP

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 04:44 PM IST
  • He also said that the TMC should not forget what its senior leaders had done for the party for the sake of newcomers.
Close
A TMC supporter paints a wall to campaign for the party ahead of Assembly polls, in Nadia.(PTI)
A TMC supporter paints a wall to campaign for the party ahead of Assembly polls, in Nadia.(PTI)

TMC, Left candidates kick-start campaigning for Bengal Assembly election

Posted by Shivani | PTI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 04:11 PM IST
While the TMC announced the list of candidates for 291 seats on Friday, the Left named nominees for 39 seats that are going to polls in the first phase.
Close
"CPI (M) and DMK delegations have discussed the seat-sharing in today's meeting. Both parties have asked for their required number of seats", Balakrishnan said after the meeting with the DMK leaders.(PTI File Photo)
"CPI (M) and DMK delegations have discussed the seat-sharing in today's meeting. Both parties have asked for their required number of seats", Balakrishnan said after the meeting with the DMK leaders.(PTI File Photo)

TN polls: Second round seat-sharing talks between CPI(M), DMK inconclusive

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:22 PM IST
CPI (M) state general secretary K Balakrishnan, other party members G Ramakrishnan and Mahendran met DMK leaders at the DMK headquarters in Arivalayam on Saturday.
Close
Tamil Nadu Congress president KS Alagiri(PTI)
Tamil Nadu Congress president KS Alagiri(PTI)

‘Treated badly’ by DMK: Congress' KS Alagiri after seat-sharing talks

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:03 PM IST
  • Sources inside Congress told ANI, Tamil Nadu Congress president KS Alagiri broke down in front of party members after feeling humiliated by DMK during the seat-sharing discussion.
Close
Dinesh Trivedi quit his Rajya Sabha seat last month, saying he was feeling suffocated in the Trinamool Congress(HT Photo/Arvind Yadav)
Dinesh Trivedi quit his Rajya Sabha seat last month, saying he was feeling suffocated in the Trinamool Congress(HT Photo/Arvind Yadav)

Golden moment that I was waiting for, says Dinesh Trivedi as he joins BJP

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:05 PM IST
  • Former Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi left the party last month.
Close
It is being speculated that Mithun Chakraborty and Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi's Brigade rally tomorrow.
It is being speculated that Mithun Chakraborty and Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi's Brigade rally tomorrow.

PM Modi's Brigade rally: BJP clarifies about Mithun Chakraborty, Sourav Ganguly

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:17 PM IST
West Bengal BJP has neither denied nor accepted the speculations, which intensifies the suspense.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President JP Nadda during the election committee meeting for Assam Assembly elections, at BJP Headquarters in New Delhi, Thursday.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President JP Nadda during the election committee meeting for Assam Assembly elections, at BJP Headquarters in New Delhi, Thursday.(PTI)

PM Modi cautions BJP against negative campaign in assembly polls

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:11 AM IST
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have said that abusive language should not be used even if the opposition chooses to use unparliamentary language.
Close
Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP in December last year after alleging that the TMC has become corrupt and there is ‘extremely deep rot’ within it.(HT_PRINT)
Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP in December last year after alleging that the TMC has become corrupt and there is ‘extremely deep rot’ within it.(HT_PRINT)

Suvendu Adhikari's counterblow to Mamata Banerjee over 'outsiders' remark

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:30 AM IST
The leader's swipe at the CM is a counterblow as the latter has referred to the BJP in West Bengal as an "outsider" party on several occasions.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP