Pune: Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections, members of opposition parties claim the ruling parties are deliberately dividing society on the lines of religion and caste. However, experts say it has nothing to do with the elections but agreed that each political party is getting mileage out of the issue for political gain.
Since last one year, Koregaon-Bhima riots, Maratha reservation protests, mob lynching in Uttar Pradesh and the Ram Mandir issue are being discussed in the State, as well as at the national level. Speaking to Sakal Times, Nawab Malik, senior NCP leader and a former State minister holds BJP responsible for polarisation. He said, “It is the old agenda of the BJP to create a rift in society on the basis of religion and caste to get advantage in the elections. The formula proved successful in 2014 elections. So, again they are implementing their tested formula for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”
AIMIM MLA from Aurangabad Central, Imtiaz Jaleel, said, “In the last four-and-half years, the government has done nothing which they can show to people. Hence they are raising old issues like the Ram temple which they always raise before the elections. All their leaders are trying to create a rift between people.”
He added, “Koregaon-Bhima incident, Ram Mandir and UP cow vigilante violence are incidents aimed at creating polarisation of community. BJP wants to divert attention from government failure. However, people are well aware of these things and it will reflect in the upcoming polls. State and Central governments are isolating the Muslim community. They denied Muslim reservation as it is based on religion. They are cornering, ignoring and now creating fear in the Muslim community by indulging in cow vigilante violence.”
Azhar Tamboli, a young Muslim activist said, “The government is trying hard to instigate communal riots on Babri Masjid issue. This has created a feeling of insecurity in the community. However, the community is not giving any reaction which government is eagerly anticipating. The community has realised the motive behind this polarisation so the government will get a different result in the upcoming elections.”
Rohidas Gaikwad, senior RPI leader said, “Koregaon-Bhima is nothing but an attempt to divide the society. After this incident, Maratha and Dalits were divided on the basis of their caste which has not happened earlier, even during Maratha reservation and atrocity issues. The government is targeting Dalit intellectuals and activists and holding them responsible for the Koregaon-Bhima violence. On the other hand, they are trying to appease the Maratha community by promising them reservations. All these things are going to give benefit to the BJP in upcoming polls.”
Dr Sadanand More, scholar and author said, “All these are social phenomenon. It is affecting society. Each political party is interpreting incidents differently and trying to take mileage in the upcoming election. Common people should not be involved in this political war.”
Prakash Pawar, city-based political observer said, “From last one year, communal developments are happening in the State and in parts of the country. Some are politically motivated and some are spontaneous. All these incidents are being used by political parties for their benefits. Some political parties have deliberately done it. Social harmony has been disturbed. Koregaon-Bhima violence, Maratha reservation protests, Muslim reservation protests, Ram Mandir issue have all polarised communities. Now, society is divided into groups on the basis of caste and religion.”