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Rajputs Fuming as Yogi Adityanath Gets Pushed Aside in Uttar Pradesh’s Thakur Strongholds

Many within the BJP perceive Adityanath's popularity as second only to Modi's, which poses a challenge to Shah, who is seen as the current regime's No.2 and views himself as the 'natural successor' to Modi.

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Meerut, Apr 21 (The Street Press India) – Rajputs in Uttar Pradesh are upset with the BJP this election because they fear that Yogi Adityanath won’t be allowed to become the next top leader after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This fear is driving their anger towards the party.

Rajput (Kshatriya) voters in various villages of the Muzaffarnagar constituency, which held elections on Friday, mentioned that they either voted against the BJP or chose not to vote at all.

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The reason behind this is seen as a “plot by Modi and (Amit) Shah” to stop Adityanath, who is a Rajput, from “becoming the rightful successor to Modi”.

This challenge from the Rajputs, who are traditionally a strong BJP support base, comes at a time when concerns that a potential third Modi government might eliminate reservations have led to significant portions of Dalit and tribal communities turning against the ruling party.

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Lokesh Thakur from Rardhna village explained, “This anger and campaign against the BJP is for the sake of Yogiji himself.” Despite Adityanath holding a rally near the village and pledging to personally address all Rajput concerns, the community remains discontented.

“Agar Rajput saansad hi kam ho jaayenge, toh Yogiji kya dab-daba rah jaayega (If the number of Rajput MPs falls, what clout will Yogi command)?” Thakur said.

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He highlighted that the BJP had only nominated one Rajput candidate from the entire western Uttar Pradesh region, which comprises 14 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats.

There have been growing murmurs within the BJP circles suggesting that if Modi secures a “400-plus” majority, it might be used to marginalize Adityanath, similar to what happened with Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh and Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan.

Many within the BJP are of the opinion that Adityanath’s popularity comes second only to Modi’s, which presents a challenge to Shah, who is seen as the current regime’s No.2 and considers himself the “natural successor” to Modi.

Rajputs across a cluster of 24 villages, known as “Chaubisi,” where the community is predominant, have voiced allegations of a “well-thought-out plan” to diminish the representation of Rajputs in Parliament.

“Why has only one Rajput been given a ticket (from western Uttar Pradesh)? Why was V.K. Singh dropped from Ghaziabad, where Rajputs have a strong presence?” said Ankur in Kurthal village.

Abhimanyu Som of Kheda said: “We have heard that Yogiji had demanded at least the two seats of Ghaziabad and Meerut for Rajputs, but this was denied by Amit Shah.”

The wave of anger among Rajputs towards the BJP began in Rajkot, Gujarat, when BJP candidate and Union minister Parshottam Rupala made controversial remarks suggesting that Kshatriya kings had compromised by interacting with foreign rulers through marriages and alliances. Since then, this anger has spread to Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

In an attempt to calm the situation, Modi addressed the issue during a rally in Amroha, western Uttar Pradesh, on Friday. He offered extensive praise for Adityanath, seemingly trying to reassure the Rajputs that there was no threat to Adityanath’s leadership in Uttar Pradesh.

“In seven years, Yogiji has shown how governance is done, how law and order is handled, how development is done. Under Yogiji’s leadership, we will break the record of 2014 and 2019 and sweep (the Lok Sabha seats) in Uttar Pradesh,” Modi had said, drawing huge applause.

Despite Modi’s message on the morning of the first phase of voting, the impact seemed to have already taken effect, especially in Muzaffarnagar.

Several of the eight western Uttar Pradesh seats that voted on Friday experienced significantly lower voter turnout compared to the 2019 elections.

In Muzaffarnagar, where the BJP’s two-term MP and incumbent Sanjeev Balyan is contesting, the voter turnout dropped by nearly 9 percent compared to 2019, as per Election Commission data.

Polling was notably low, ranging from 35 percent to just about 50 percent, in the Rajput-dominated villages of Rardhna, Kheda, Kurthal, Rajpur Momin, Salawa, and Jwala, as observed during The Telegraph’s visit on Saturday.

“Out of 9,500 voters, only around 3,500 cast their votes. Many of these went to the ‘cycle’ (the Samajwadi Party symbol),” said Ankur Kumar of Rardhna, home village of district BJP president Shiv Kumar Rana. “Some of the votes did go to the BJP but many like me, who do not vote for any party other than the BJP, stayed away.”

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press India, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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