Shun caste differences, he says

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday raised the nationalist pitch before the Assembly polls by appealing to people to follow ‘rashtra dharma’ (duty towards nation) and shun caste differences.

On a tour of western Uttar Pradesh to share the accomplishments of the BJP rule, Mr Adityanath said his tenure remained “riot-free” and the State was “emerging as an export hub”. He was speaking in the Dadri town of Gautam Buddha Nagar before moving to Hapur and Amroha. On Tuesday, he addressed meetings in Moradabad and Sambhal.

Urging people to put national security before personal protection, he invoked Muslim invaders and the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan to underscore his point. “We have to be beware of people who are supporting the Taliban,” he said.

The community that ignored its past and tradition, failed to protect its geographical boundaries, he noted.

The first thing, Mr Adityanath reminded that his government did after coming to power in 2017, was to shut down illegal slaughterhouses and ensured the safety of women. “During the previous dispensation, Kawad Yatra was not allowed and strictures were imposed on celebrating Durga Puja.”

In 2015, one Akhlaq was allegedly lynched in a Dadri village on the suspicion of storing and consuming cow meat.

Reaches out to Gurjars

Reaching out to the dominant Gurjar population in the region, Mr. Adityanath unveiled the statute of Maharaja Mihir Bhoj on the occasion.

Gurjars consider the Pratihara king as their icon while the Rajputs call the Ninth Century ruler as their own. Before the Chief Minister’s visit, both the communities staked their claim on the legacy of Mihira Bhoj.

“We should not confine great men from our past to a caste or region,” reasoned Mr. Adityanath, adding his government was working to revive the memories of those historical figures whose contribution to nation-building had been deliberately wiped off public conscience by previous governments. “During the rule of Maharaja Mihira Bhoj, no foreign invader could set his eyes on our country. But afterward, we had to face a dark period when Mahmud of Ghazni attacked our temples and played with the dignity of our women,” he stated.

Despite inclement weather, a large number of people turned up to listen to him in Dadri and Hapur.

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