March 24, 2023

Jats, BJP share legacy of fighting Mughals, says Amit Shah | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: A day after Union home minister Amit Shah’s meeting with a select group of Jat representatives, a video clip of him purportedly emphasising affinity with the community by stressing the shared legacy of ‘fighting Mughals’ has gone viral.
In the purported video, Shah appears to be referring to the meeting he earlier had with the members of the community. “I said our bond goes back 650 years. After the meeting, a few asked me to explain the remark, pointing out that BJP is not even 50 years-old. I said that you fought Mughals, we are also fighting.”
The alleged comment drew applause from Jat representatives who turned up for the meeting organised at the residence of Delhi MP Parvesh Varma as part of an outreach to the members of the community, crucial for the outcome in many constituencies of Western UP, which remains annoyed with BJP over the now-repealed three farm reform laws.
Sources in BJP refused to comment on the video clip, emphasising that Shah’s interaction with the Jat “influencers” was an in-camera affair and it is difficult for others to comment on the authenticity of the clip. “We have to be sure whether the comment was indeed made, whether what is being circulated has been doctored or plucked out of context,” said a party functionary on the condition of anonymity.
Historically, Jats were a thorn in the side of the latter Mughals, raiding forts, cities and imperial caravans and disrupting supply chains. The celebrated Jat ruler, Surajmal, who founded the kingdom of Bharatpur, had once even overrun Agra.
Although the authenticity of Shah’s purported comment could not be ascertained, BJP leaders have consistently attacked the “politics of appeasement” and the alleged political patronage to certain criminals by other parties, describing the free run enjoyed by them as reminiscent of atrocities under the Mughals.
The interaction was part of a determined effort to woo back sections of Jats, which remain sullen over the farm laws. Support from a large section of Jats who moved to BJP in the wake of communal riots and rampant perception of Akhilesh Yadav-led SP government’s pro-Muslim bias in handling of the conflagration lasting over a month, helped the saffron party sweep the area in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls as well as the last assembly contest in 2017. Sensing an opening in the unhappiness over the farm laws, Akhilesh has tied up with RLD, a Jat outfit headed by Jayant Chaudhary, grandson of former PM Chaudhary Charan Singh.
It was Shah who, in his role as general secretary in charge of UP, helped by the anger against SP’s “communal partisanship”, brought Jats to the saffron-fold. As the BJP chief, he worked hard to ensure that the community stayed with the party in defiance of RLD’s sustained overtures.
With cracks appearing in the constituency, he has again been drafted as the trouble-shooter.

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