Haryana AAP gives BJP a taste of its own Gangajal
Till now it has primarily been the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that has effectively used the Ganga for its political campaign. Right from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi telling his supporters that Mother Ganga had called him to the city there have been several others in his party who have been seeking votes in the name of programmes like 'Namami Gange' and making announcements of developing Ganga riverfront like the one developed on the Sabarmati in Gujarat.
But now it is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Haryana that is out to make use of the same Ganga to take on its opponents in the run up to the Lok Sabha and subsequent state Assembly polls next year. The volunteers of the party in Haryana under the leadership of Naveen Jaihind have embarked on a 500 km long 'Bhaichara Kanwar Yatra' in the state. Starting from Haridwar in Uttarakhand on July 31, the party volunteers are using the annual 'Kanwar Yatra' to give out a political message.
They have collected the water of river Ganga which is perceived to be holy in small plastic containers which they intend to give to the top functionaries of the ruling BJP government under Manohar Lal Khattar along with their other political opponents.
“The purpose is to tell these people to protect the common bhaichara (social fabric) of the state that they have destroyed through their acts. We will hand over these bottles to Khattar and others while reminding them of their promises and responsibilities towards the people of the state. We will ask them not to cheat the people. We will ask them to desist from playing the politics of region, caste and religion,” said Jaihind during the Yatra's stopover at Chandigarh on Friday. He disclosed that the Yatra will culminate at the Shaheed and Swatantrata Senani Smarak at Maharishi Dayanand University in Rohtak on August 9.
“In the last four years the BJP regime has encouraged caste differences to play out and has thus destroyed the social fabric comprising 36 Biradris (communities) in the state. When the rioting was on during the Jat reservation stir and the Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) were trying to reap political dividends from the turmoil AAP was carrying on a 'Meri Jaati-Hindustani' campaign in Rohtak. We have now started this Bhaichara Kanwar Yatra involving the people of all the 36 communities and faiths,” he added.
He has listed to whom and why the AAP volunteers want to hand over the small bottles of Gangajal along with packets of prasad that they are carrying from Haridwar.
They want Khattar to ensure rule of law in the state where he has stood unraveled time and again on the issue of maintaining law and order. They want health minister Anil Vij to treat the hospitals that are functioning like sick units.
AAP wants education minister Ram Bilas Sharma to improve the lot of government schools. The AAP volunteers want agriculture minister Anil Dhankad to address the concerns of the farmers. They will also be asking the finance minister Captain Abhimanyu to devise a strategy to make Haryana debt free by generating Rs 150 lakh crore.
Jaihind said that the Gangajal will also be sent to the BJP MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini so that he may desist from spewing venom against the Jat community. Also on radar of AAP are the Jat leader Yash Pal Malik and the top leadership of INLD and the Congress.
AAP is trying to get a foothold in Haryana politics where it sees a window of opportunity to expand its base. It is primarily trying to target the areas around Delhi that form a part of the National Capital Region (NCR) by selling the Delhi model of governance introduced by it.