New Delhi, Jan 28: The Rashtriya Lok Dal has devised a new strategy to revive itself politically in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh state. The party has decided to field two couples with an intercaste and inter-religious marriages in the electoral battle. The party calls it a deliberate strategy to bring two communities closer after the Muzzafarnagar riots in Western Uttar Pradesh. Jats and Muslims were known to be party’s conventional voters who left its fold after the riots in 2013.
The party has fielded Ms Muskan from the reserved constituency Hapur. Muskan being a Dalit is married to local RLD leader Farman Ali. She hopes that apart from Jatav and Muslims, Jats too will vote her this time. She says that considering the voter strength of Dalits numbering 45,000 in the constituency along with Muslims, she will easily get more than 150,000 votes. The constituency has 3.2 Lakhs registered voters.
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“Besides Muslims and Jatavs, I am expecting the support of the Jat community which has nearly 50,000 votes, and which is coming back to the RLD,” she added.
According to The Hindu, Senior RLD leader Mukesh Chaudhary said fielding candidates who had had inter-religious and inter-caste marriages is a deliberate strategy and the party seeks to stitch together, and also heal, the broken fabric.
The party has also fielded Kusum Devi, a Dalit from Hastinapur, who is married to a Gujjar from the same constituency.
Recalling the stiff resistance faced during their marriage from his community, Farman Ali says that she has not converted to Islam. He says that his bid to unite the communities has gained huge support from local Khap panchayats.
Rashtriya Lok Dal suffered massively in Lok Sabha election in 2014 when it failed to secure any of its traditional seats in Western Uttar Pradesh. The party secured victory in 5 Lok Sabha seats in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.