Farmers’ movement helped RLD regain West UP home turf - Hindustan Times
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Farmers’ movement helped RLD regain West UP home turf

ByS Raju, Meerut
Mar 10, 2022 11:32 PM IST

Overwhelming support for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) on its home turf of western UP led to all eight of its candidates winning the election, which helped the party rise from the ashes after its debacle in the previous Assembly and general elections

Overwhelming support for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) on its home turf of western UP led to all eight of its candidates winning the election, which helped the party rise from the ashes after its debacle in the previous Assembly and general elections. The result of Assembly elections has brought the smiles back on its leaders and workers’ faces after this victory.

Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary addressing a rally. (HT File Photo)
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary addressing a rally. (HT File Photo)

The 11-month farmers’ movement came as a boon for the RLD which was desperately looking to regain the lost support from its traditional vote bank in the agriculture belt.

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Party candidates Ajay Kumar (Chaprauli), Ashraf Ali (Thanabhawan), Prasann Choudhary (Shamli), Chandan Chauhan (Meerapur), Rajpal Baliyan (Budhana), Anil Kumar (Purkaji), Pradeep Guddu (Sadabad) and Gulam Mohammad (Siwalkhas) defeated their nearest rivals (from the BJP).

RILD’s regional president Yashbeer Singh claimed that the party fielded 33 candidates in alliance with Samajwadi Party and eight of them won. He claimed that many candidates, including Jaiveer Tomar of Baraut and Munshirampal in Nahtaur seat lost by a very thin margin. He accused the BJP of using money, muscle power and misusing government machinery to win the election.

Singh said that candidates from Baraut and Nahtaur seats have lodged complaints with the Election Commission of India, demanding justice.

Farmer leader Harpal Singh Bilari said that Jayant Chaudhary worked hard to rebuild the party after the death of his grandfather, Charan Singh, and people extended support to him by ensuring the victory of party candidates.

Party leader Dr Mairajuddin Ahmad said that the victory of RLD candidates would help boost the morale of party workers and leaders. The elected candidates will perform the role of a strong opposition in the Assembly to raise issues of farmers, labourers and marginalised people who support the party.

RLD faced trouble after the Muzaffarnagar communal riots in September 2013. It broke the party’s winning social equation of Jats and Muslims. In the general election of 2014, Ajit Singh lost in the fray from Bagpat and Jayant Choudhary from the Mathura seat.

In the 2017 election, RLD received another jolt when only Sahendra Singh Ramala registered a victory from the Chaprauli seat. He later ditched the party and joined the BJP leaving the tally of the party in Assembly and Lok Sabha zero.

Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary then contested the general election of 2019 from Muzaffarnagar and Bagpat seats but both lost again.

The farmers’ movement came as a ray of hope for the party when BKU chief Naresh Tikait openly admitted his mistake of supporting the BJP in the 2017 and 2019 election, which led to the defeat of Ajit Singh, Jayant and other party candidates in Assembly elections of 2017.

The Tikait brothers also decided to propagate the message of communal harmony among people to dilute the BJP’s tried and tested experiment of Hindutva in the region after the Muzaffarnagar communal riots.

While Ajit Singh organised many Bhaichara meetings after the riots, his son, Jayant Chaudhary, held multiple Mahapanchayats in the region to propagate harmony. It helped rebuild the party on its home turf for a bigger role in western UP politics in the coming years.

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