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Farmer’s agitation, Rahul Gandhi & UP Election

To depend on uncertain voting patterns, for people who are in the Business of Politics, is the irony of the electoral system.  Therefore, when the election time nears, the heat and dust of politics tries to create so much of smoke that it can have a blinding effect on voters. 
 
A few months into next year and the seat of power (read Uttar Pradesh) would be up for election. As the time nears, drama, theatrics, maneuvering, manipulations would be witnessed quite frequently. The ongoing farmer’s agitation in Greater Noida is one such instance. As it appears, the agitation, which was started by farmers seeking compensation as per market based rates in lieu of their land, has been hijacked by political parties. 

It is important to note that Western Uttar Pradesh, where the protest is taking place, happens to be a Jat and Dalit dominated constituency sharing between them a population of 30 - 75 lakh of these communities. Dalits are solidly behind BSP Supremo  Mayawati whereas Jats support Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) of Ajit Singh. Muslims are either with BSP or RLD.

Off late, Congress Party has been trying - desperately so - to regain some lost ground in Uttar Pradesh. This ongoing protest led by Jat farmers - joined by Rahul & Co. - is one such attempt in that direction. I am not a political pundit but prima facie it appears that it’s all stage -managed by the Congress Party.

Why and how did the policemen open fire on protesters is for the investigators to find out but for ordinary minds, it’s not rocket science to understand that infiltration is a common thing in such scenarios. 

Things certainly are not as simple as they appear. There is a great deal of politics in the situation at hand with much intense planning, contemplation and maneuvering.

It’s not just a co-incidence that the ‘Prince’ of the Democratic Republic of India reaches the controversial spot after a few days of protest on a motorcycle – in the process dodging all the party workers, policemen and security men. 

It’s not just a co-incidence that all the Newspapers / News channels are showering Rahul Gandhi with praises for an act of reaching the controversial spot from a different route.

It’s not just a co-incidence that the entire propaganda and publicity machines, together, are making similar noises – in favor of Rahul Gandhi and projecting it as the battle of Rahul vs Maya. 

It would be outright naïve to project Rahul against Mayawati. She is a seasoned politician, a dalit icon and commands a huge support base among her followers. In stark contrast, Rahul Gandhi is a political novice, very elitist- except for the urban fun-loving crowd; hardly has any support among the masses. In the interiors of UP, there are those who come to see him or run after his cavalcade, that is just out of fascination of an aura of a ‘prince to the throne’ created by his party stalwarts.

By keeping Rahul Gandhi infront, through this issue of land and farmers, the Congress Party is trying to target BSP Supremo. If this happens, it will send the message that Rahul Gandhi is now maturing as a leader who can pose a formidable challenge to the ruling party in the upcoming battle of Uttar Pradesh.

It appears clearly that the secret plan laid out by the strategists is to garner publicity from every possible angle. Rahul Gandhi sitting with farmers all day is a publicity event and if the state government removes him from the spot or takes him into preventive custody is publicity again.   

Sensing the political heat, BJP too has jumped into the fray but it knows too well that not much political benefit will come its way. It is only afraid that Rahul Gandhi will end up getting too much coverage.

The grand old party of India should try to understand that political management is not just about well managed publicity, at the end of the day; it also is about the ground reality. 

For now, Rahul Gandhi may have attracted all the hype, hoopla and publicity but he, along with Congress Party would do good to recall that in the last UP elections, Mayawati managed a landslide victory because she concentrated quietly on ground realities.

The writer can be reached at najamgilani@gmail.com    

More By  :  Najam Gilani

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