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U.P. BJP gears for state elections
By Obaid Nasir, Lucknow

Bhartiya Janata Party has played its trump card in UP. It has sent Rajnath Singh to lead the party in the next assembly elections which from all accounts were going to be waterloo for the party . Though Rajnath Singh is leaving no stone unturned to popularize the BJP but he is facing an uphill task of silencing his detractors within the party. Even party's state chief Kalraj Misra is not very happy the way things are going. Rajnath Singh is too junior to him and the way he is making himself acceptable to all sections of the society including Muslims is a great danger for his chance to became the next Chief Minister. Thus the only option before him is to adopt the old path of Muslim bashing .In his zeal to be the champion of militant Hindutva Misra is not hesitating in advising the hot heads of the community to take law into their own hands.

On 2 May, while addressing the executive committee members of the youth wing of his party (Bhartiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha) Misra opened his mouth on his favourite topic of banning the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) which according to him is involved in subversive and anti national activities. Underlining the need for an agitation to counter the SIMI activities, he exhorted the youth to ‘teach a lesson’ to such elements. It may be noted that Rajnath Singh has categorically stated that he is against banning any organization, rather he favours tough actions against those indulging in subversive and anti national activities. Even state police chief has also ruled out involvement of SIMI in any anti national activity. He said some youth attached with SIMI might be involved in such activities and they will be brought to book and be awarded exemplary punishment but the whole organization can not be blamed until and unless there are concrete proofs against it. The court has also released a youth Mohammad Aqeel allegedly involved in planting bomb in Sabarmati Express at Faizabad on eve of independence day, which has also belied the allegation that SIMI is indulging in subversive activities.

Kalraj Misra exhorting the saffronized youths to teach a lesson to such elements is a clear sign that he has lost confidence in legal and administrative system of the state or in more clear terms he has lost the hope that the state police working under Rajnath Singh will bow to his pressure of banning the SIMI. By making a hue and cry over the SIMI issue Misra wants to put Rajnath Singh in a tight spot and endear himself to the hard liners of his party.

Not only this, with his tactical support another claimant of the coveted seat Om Prakash Singh came down heavily on the Chief Minister. Addressing the saffronized youth in the same meeting Om Prakash Singh who twice lost the race for Chief Minister-ship condemned the ‘top leaders’ of the party for promoting their own men at the cost of loyal and dedicated workers of the party. He charged that these top leaders were not following the tradition of the party. He said that ‘new comers ‘ in the party were being’ awarded’ and dedicated workers were being ignored. It may be noted that the Congress MLA Surendra Nath Awasthi who has bargained his Haidergarh seat with Rajya Sabha seat vacated by Rajnath Singh has recently joined BJP with great fan fare. The senior leaders of the BJP are opposed to this deal and want that the Rajya Sabha seat vacated by Singh should go to any senior leader.The Loktantrik Congress an ally of BJP has already supported the candidature of Kalraj Misra sharpening very tactfully the internal differences in BJP.

Rajnath Singh is very cleverly and shrewdly building his image of a moderate leader .He knows very well that only a leader of moderate image will be acceptable to all section of society including Muslims and also to the allies of BJP in the state and at the center. Fifty four years old Rajnath Singh is highly qualified also. He has master’s degree in physics, meaning he is fully equipped to play a long inning in politics even at central level. He has to compete with Jaswant Singh in case of any urgent need in Delhi with UP at his back he may outsmart Jaswant Singh. This is the danger that has taken away the sleeps of Kalraj Misra &co. But this game of political up-manship may be very dangerous for the communal harmony in the state. Muslims may be caught in this cross fire:
Barq girtee hai to
bechare Musalmanon par

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