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In U.P. rallies, Shah slams Akhilesh’s rule with acronyms

Describes it as NIZAM (administration) of Muslim leaders

Combining his attack on the Samajwadi Party’s perceived soft corner for minorities with his acronyms, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday described the rule of SP president Akhilesh Yadav as NIZAM (administration) of Muslim leaders and pitted it against the vikas (development) and the Ram temple delivered by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr. Shah has so far addressed 10 rallies as part of the Jan Vishwas Yatra.

Addressing rallies in Moradabad and Aligarh, constituencies that have a significant Muslim population and leadership, Mr Shah said Mr Yadav’s administration stood for NIZAM which he elaborated as Naseemuddin (Siddiqui), Imran Masood, Azam Khan, and Mukhtar Ansari.

Notably, out of the four, only Mr. Khan is a front line SP leader from the neighbouring Rampur district. Mr. Siddiqui has been with the Bahujan Samaj Party before shifting to the Congress. Mr. Masood is a prominent Congress leader in west Uttar Pradesh and Mr. Ansari has been with the BSP for a long time. In Aligarh, he changed Naseemuddin to Naseeruddin. Perhaps, he was referring to Naseer Ahmad Khan, the SP MLA from Chamraua constituency in Rampur.

In Moradabad, Mr. Shah reminded the audience of Mr. Khan, a founding member of the SP, who is lodged in Sitapur jail because of alleged irregularities in the university established by him in his Rampur constituency. “Akhilesh babu still goes to meet him. Do you think Azam Khan will remain in jail, if SP comes to power,” asked Mr. Shah, in this typical question-answer style of interacting with the crowd.

Targets Mulayam

Without taking his name, Mr. Shah referred to the SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s oft-repeated statement made at a rally in Moradabad in 2014 wherein he said, “boys will be boys, they made mistakes … will you hang them for rape.”

“Will our daughters and mothers remain safe under such a government,” Mr. Shah asked, and congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing in the anti-triple talaq law to protect Muslim women.

In a bid to reach out to Jat farmers, Mr. Shah said the land of Chaudhary Charan Singh turned red because of 700-odd riots during the SP government.

Interestingly, Mr. Shah slightly broad-based his attack in the brass city and added behen (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) to bua (Moradabad) and babua (Mr. Yadav) as well. Ms. Vadra had recently addressed a well-attended rally in the city of her in-laws. “Even if bua, babua and behan combine their forces, they could not take on the might of the BJP worker,” he said. He also took a jibe at Ms. Mayawati, asking her to come out of the cold.

Despite the Modi wave in 2017, the SP and the BSP were not swept away in Moradabad and neighbouring Rampur, Amroha, and Saharanpur. While in Moradabad, two of the five Assembly segments were won by the SP candidates in 2017, Rampur returned SP candidates in three of five Assembly segments. “Promise me to give us a clean sweep this time,” said Mr. Shah.

In the city of locks, Mr. Shah uncorked a few more acronyms to impart the BJP’s message in short capsules. He described the SP as the part of 3Ps: Parviar (nepotism), Pakshpat (appeasement) and Palayan (exodus), while the BJP is about 3Vs: Vikas (development), vyapar (business), and virasat (heritage).

Pat for Kalyan Singh

Invoking the name of Kalyan Singh in the former Chief Minister’s home district, Mr. Shah reminded that he sacrificed the Chief Minister chair for the Ram temple movement. “Don’t forget the SP government fired at the kar sevaks and Akhilesh babu likes to talk about Jinnah, not Babuji,” said Mr. Shah. He continued to link the SP with the alleged illegal recoveries made by agencies at a Kanpur businessman’s house. “The SP has made Uttar Pradesh a lab of loot,” he said.

‘Immature words’

Responding to the BJP leaders’ use of acronyms to target the SP, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, in a tweet, said when the State and the country were suffering because of starvation, inflation, unemployment, and mismanagement, BJP leaders were building immature words by joining ABCD. “These things could not satiate the hunger of masses, nor could help them run their households.” Mr. Yadav also used the last three alphabets of Hindi to signify that people would put an end to the BJP rule in 2022.

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