Riots, a key issue in Uttar Pradesh polls

Clash is expected to be between BSP's sitting MP Kadir Rana and BJP's candidature of Dr Sanjeev Baliyan

Muzaffarnagar: Scars of the communal violence which ripped across Muzaffarnagar on September last year are still visible. Though life has limped back to normal a simmering tension can still be felt.

Nearly five months after the riots, Muzaffarnagar, which once was known for it’s Hindu-Muslim bonding, is a polarised society today. The September 2013 communal violence, which had left nearly 60 dead and hundreds injured, manifest a clear division of votes between parties fuelled by religion. Muzaffarnagar, which was established in Mughal period, has 16 lakh electorate.

The main clash is expected to be between the BJP and the BSP. While BSP has re-nominated its sitting MP Kadir Rana, BJP announced the candidature of Dr Sanjeev Baliyan on Saturday. There were speculations that the BJP could field the riot tainted MLA, Sangeet Som. However, local saffronites and RSS rooted for Dr Baliyan.

With the memories of the riot still fresh in the Muslim mind, they seem to have rejected the SP supremo. Muhammed Irshad, who works in a shop at Shahpur seethed, “SP is responsible for whatever has happened.” While the SP has fielded Virender Singh Gujjar, Suraj Singh Verma is the Congress candidate. AAP has fielded Mohammed Yameen.

If the BJP is banking on a complete polarisation of votes, the BSP is confident of bagging Dalit and Muslim votes. The BSP is also expecting of getting a “good chunk” of 4.4 lakh OBC votes. The Samajwadi Party is banking on the so called relief it had provided to the minorities in the relief camps.

( Source : dc )
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