By Sushil Kutty
Is it time to hold Yogi Adityanath’s feet to the fire? This man often forgets he’s “respectable” Chief Minister. Besides, how many more months does Yogi Adityanath have as Chief Minister of UP? Max 6 months; perhaps seven or eight months. There are folks who say the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in about three or four months. Question is will Yogi Adityanath be UP Chief Minister on September 15, 2022? Perhaps not, most probably not.
Some say Yogi Adityanath does not have a ‘pappy’ – ‘father’ in formal English and ‘pitaji’ in Hindi – an ‘abbajaan’, to throw more light on his character, his understanding of things. For example, Yogi Adityanath says all those who feast on rations allocated to the Hindu poor are children of “abbajaan”. Fact is, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath uses ‘abbajaan’ in a rather easy manner. You get the feeling he’s bitten by the communal bug – and that he ought to be disciplined by the Election Commission of India.
A couple of days ago, while holding forth in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath used ‘abbajaan’ to slur Muslims, claiming that before 2017, the year the Yogi Adityanath got charge of UP, ration allocated for the poor Hindus were “swallowed” whole by those owing allegiance to ‘abbajaan’. Those who have seen Yogi Adityanath at election rallies would have noticed the smug face and faint smile he sports when delivering what can be said are communally-tainted remarks. Yogi Adityanath revels in looking the Muslim in the eye. Maybe he gets a kick out of it.
In 2017, the BJP used “kabristan-Shamshan” to polarize the UP electorate to win a big majority. Five years later, it’s Yogi Adityanath and his “abbajaan” crack. Point is, the BJP is a repeat offender. Whether the majority of the Uttar Pradesh electorate would follow suit and repeat the 2017 offence to elect BJP once again to power is to be seen. The other night, a set of five journalists met to discuss Yogi’s “abbajaan” dig at the SP and BSP, and concluded that Yogi Adityanath will pay for his deliberate slip of the tongue! That Uttar Pradesh’s ‘abbajaan’ – code name for Muslims – will together wipe clean the BJP from UP’s slate in 2022; that 135 Muslim dominated constituencies are at play against the Yogi.
The prediction is predicated on the premise that there will be opposition unity in 2022, and that Muslims and secular Hindus will vote in one block and kick the BJP and Yogi Adityanath out of contention. Hashtags ‘#Abbajaan’ and ‘#Abbajan’ were trending on Twitter the whole night of September 13 right into September 14, and media friendly to the BJP were giving their own spin to the story even as talking heads on TV rampaged for and against Yogi Adityanath.
Truly, electioneering for 2022 has begun in earnest, and from what was on display, it promises to be one helluva vilely communal jamboree. The gloves are off, so to speak. In fact, for the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan came just on time. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra wrinkles his nose at the mention of ‘Taliban’, but he refuses to come clean on whether the Modi Government considered Taliban ‘”terrorists”? Some would say, it’s time to hold even Sambit Patra’s feet to the fire; compel him and the BJP to stop fooling the citizenry of India. Sambit Patra’s feet should also be held to the fire for the blatant lies on live TV.
Yogi Adityanath said that “back then, before 2017, ration allocated for Kushinagar residents was diverted to Nepal and Bangladesh”, and that under his rule if anybody attempted to “take away ration meant for the poor, that person would land in jail, period.” But, according to reports, there was no basis for Yogi Adityanath’s claim. For one, ration cards are not issued on the basis of religion. Two, the “ration figures” don’t lend credibility to Yogi Adityanath’s wild claims. In other words Yogi Adityanath was making baseless charges to communalize and gain electorally.
According to government figures, as of today, 3.59 crore ration cards have been issued to 14.86 beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh. Yogi Adityanath took charge of UP on March 19, 2017. Akhilesh Yadav launched the National Food Security Act, 2013 in UP on March 1, 2016. On November 15, 2016, 14.01 crore people were benefiting from the food security act, i.e., nearly 75 percent of UP’s population. If anything, that number has dropped in the four and a half years of the Yogi’s rule. Clearly, Yogi Adityanath is way off the mark when he lays the blame on ‘Abbajaan’. It’s a pity the Yogi’s ‘abbajaan’ is not around to give him a rap on the wrist! (IPA Service)