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Yogi Adityanath reignites ‘Jinnah vs Ganna’ debate in west Uttar Pradesh | Lucknow News

Yogi Adityanath reignites 'Jinnah vs Ganna' debate in west Uttar Pradesh | Lucknow News

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday reignited the ‘Ganna versus Jinnah’ debate during his address at the foundation laying ceremony of Jewar International Airport on Thursday.
Speaking before PM Narendra Modi, Yogi said that Jewar was known for its exquisite sugarcane, but some people replaced the sweetness with regular riots, in an apparent reference to communal conflagration that pitted Muslims against Jats in western UP districts in 2013.
“Today, the country has to decide whether it wants to give new wings to the sweetness of sugarcane here or allow the followers of Jinnah commit the mischief of triggering riots,” the CM said, taking a swipe at SP chief Akhilesh Yadav for his recent remark putting Pakistan’s founder Jinnah in the league of Gandhi, Nehru and Patel.
The ‘Ganna versus Jinnah’ narrative had earlier come up in 2018 during the campaign for Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll. That time it was the present RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary who had accused BJP of being more conerned about Jinnah than ‘ganna’ (cane farmers) after the saffron outfits had objected to picture of the Pakistan founder being put up in Aligarh Muslim University.
While Yogi then had retorted to the allegation by enumerating the works done by his government for the cane farmers, this time the SP chief’s adulation for Jinnah has given the UP CM an ammunition to fire repeated salvos at the principal opposition party, says a political analyst.
Before 2013, Dalits and Muslims and Jats and Muslims together would form a strong and politically viable vote bank for various political parties. However, post Muzaffarnagar riots, all these equations went skewed.
This brought BJP into picture as it started wooing Jats into its fold and succeeded up to a great extent, resulting in 71 out of possible 80 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, and 312 out of possible 403 seats in 2017 assembly elections.
Things got a bit tougher for the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections as it managed to get only 10 out of possible 17 Lok Sabha seats from the Jat-dominated Western UP region.
After the Centre passed the farm laws, farmers from western UP joined the protest, led by BKU leaders Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait-led Samyukt Kisan Morcha. It was seen as an alienation of a large section of Jat farmers from the BJP.
This gave space to RLD and SP and they started wooing Jats. Both the parties, however, were aware that mere Jat votes won’t be enough in the 2022 assembly elections, therefore they started working on plans to attract other groups also. While RLD has been hosting all-religion ‘bhaichara sammelans’, SP has been holding programmes to woo OBCs, assuming that Muslims would continue to be loyal to it.
Political analysts feel that while PM Modi’s sudden announcment to repeal the three farm laws was being seen as a move to turn the tables in BJP’s favour, the spectre of a possible SP-RLD alliance, which could unify Muslim and Jat votes, has posed in a new challenge to the saffron outfit.
“So, in the presence of a huge crowd from West UP region, when Yogi was quick to remind the people how some opposition parties had hatched the conspiracy of riots in the region and brought bitterness in sugarcane being grown by the farmers, he was clearly trying to appeal to the Jats,” they feel.

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