After failing to convince voters with its love jihad rhetoric, the BJP has now resorted to politics of hardcore Hindutva in next month’s three assembly bypolls in Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh’s three assembly constituencies namely Muzaffarnagar, Deobandi and Faizabad are scheduled to go for polls later this month.
In a surprising move, the saffron party has replaced its candidates for all three constituencies with those known for hardcore Hindutva politics. This, analysts believe, is an explicit display of intention by the party leadership on its change in agenda.
In essense all three candidates who contested from these seats in 2012 assembly polls have been replaced.
According to News18, Ram Krishna Tiwari, who is a candidate from Bikapur in Faizabad, is an old time Ayodhya activist and had also spent time in jail in connection with the movement. This will be his first entry in electoral politics.
In Deoband, the BJP hopes to capitalise on the Hindutva credentials of Rampal Pundir, who was earlier an RSS pracharak.
While in Muzaffarnagar, where polls are being held for the first time since 2013 communal riots, BJP has chosen Kapil Dev.
The BJP has been trying to use Hindutva agenda to win elections in UP after it won a record 71 Lok Sabha seats on development agenda in 2014 general elections.
However, the party suffered a humiliating defeat in the assembly bypolls within four months after the splendid Lok Sabha performance.
In the September 2014 assembly bypolls, the BJP lost eight of the 11 seats which it had won with its ally Apna Dal in the 2012 assembly polls.
Many pundits had attributed the loss to party’s Hindutva politics, which entailed raking up the issue of Love Jihad.
These bypolls assume significance as Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to go for crucial assembly elections in 2017.