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Yogi Adityanath reaches out to marginalised communities to widen BJP’s support

After launching an immunisation drive in a Musahar dominated village in Kushinagar district on May 25, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister was in a Tharu village in Balrampur district on Sunday

lucknow Updated: May 30, 2017 21:37 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Uttar Pradesh chief minister,Musahars
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.(HT File Photo)

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath is focusing on marginalised communities like the Musahars, Tharus and Vantangiyas in what analysts see as a bid to win over social groups ignored by his political rivals and show his government in a positive light especially after the Dalit-Thakur clashes in Saharanpur.

After launching an immunisation drive in a Musahar dominated village in Kushinagar district on May 25, the UP chief minister was in a Tharu village in Balrampur district on Sunday. He announced opening of an intermediate college in the area. He called upon the Tharu youths to adopt Maharana Pratap and Shivaji as their role models.

Lauding the community, he said: “The Tharus are a valiant tribe and have played a pivotal role in guarding the India- Nepal border. The state government is committed to their welfare.”

Earlier, he had launched welfare schemes in a Vantangiya village in Maharajganj district. Tharus are tribals and Vantangiyas are forest dwellers. Musahars, another marginalised community, are said to feed on rodents due to abject poverty. Gorakhpur-based journalist Manoj Singh said clashes between Dalits and upper caste Thakurs in Saharanpur had started making a dent in the BJP government’s reputation on the law and order front.

Read more: UP CM Yogi Adityanath launches campaign to eradicate Japanese Encephalitis

So, Yogi Adityanath was visiting the villages of the poor in what appeared to be a damage-control measure, Singh said. The move will also help him in shedding the image of a Thakur leader, he added. “Both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have ignored these communities,” he said.

Rajesh Kumar Mishra, former head of the sociology department in Lucknow University, said the urban communities and upper castes settled in the rural areas constituted the BJP’s traditional support base. “Now, Yogi Adityanath is trying to bring marginalised communities into the mainstream.

“He is taking a political risk with a new social experiment. He is also trying to create a new social base among the communities that do not figure in the plans of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP),” Mishra said. “Even the UPA government ignored the marginalised communities settled across UP. Yogi is visiting the villages of the marginalised communities. No chief minister has done this earlier,” Mishra said.

While launching an immunisation drive in the Musahar- dominated Mainpur village in Kushinagar district on May 25, Adityanath had announced allotment of land, houses and ration cards in all Musahar villages.

He directed the officers to ensure roads, drainage, power supply, and potable water supply in the villages. The state government will release funds for these projects, he promised. Even as an MP, he had launched development schemes in the Vantangiya villages located in Gorakhpur and Maharajganj districts.

Read more: Musahars say asked to take bath before meeting Adityanath, official denies it

First Published: May 30, 2017 17:39 IST