Opposition candidate Tabassum Hasan has accused the BJP of resorting to divisive politics as it has no concrete issue to raise ahead of Monday's bye-election for the Kairana Lok Sabha seat.Tabassum Hasan is contesting on a Rashtriya Lok Dal ticket in the communally sensitive constituency, but is also backed by the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Campaigning for the ruling BJP, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's hands were stained with the blood of victims of the 2013 riots in neighbouring Muzaffarnagar.There has been communal tension in Kairana as well after an alleged exodus of Hindus from the area in 2016.
Hasan said despite the divisive antics of the BJP, she is getting support both from like-minded parties and from different sections of society. The opposition hopes a consolidation of votes would be enough to defeat BJP's Mriganka Singh, daughter of veteran politician Hukum Singh who died recently.
Attacking the saffron party, the 47-year-old former MP from Kairana said, The common people are feeling harassed. They are reeling under the pain inflicted by the anti-people policies of the UP government. Similarly, traders feel their businesses are running into losses. The condition of labourers and farmers is very bad. Sugarcane growers in the region are feeling the maximum amount of pain, as no payments have been made to them by the state government, she told PTI, rejecting the official claim that dues from sugar mills are being cleared rapidly.
When reminded about her image as a party hopper, she said, If I have changed my political allegiance, it is purely for the welfare of the public. If I have switched from one political party to another, the same thing had been done by Hukum Singh who was with the Congress and the Janata Party (Secular). Hukum Singh has also been with the Congress before joining the BJP. Hasan has been with the BSP and the SP before switching to the RLD.
Asked if there is a feeling of sympathy for Mriganka Singh, she said, I do admit there is a sympathy wave for her in some parts of Shamli, but beyond it there nothing as such. After all, I had defeated her father in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Kairana itself. On the exodus of Hindu families from Kairana in 2016, a claim made by Hukum Singh, she said, Nothing of that sort happened in Kairana. The area is adjacent to Panipat district in Haryana, where there are industries, and labourers (both Hindus and Muslims) from here go there in the morning and return in the evening, she said.
Their locked houses, even of Muslims who had gone to Panipat for work, were photographed and used as propaganda, she claimed.
In Kairana, both Hindus and Muslims live in peace, she said.
Kairana parliamentary is made up of assembly segments of Shamli, Thana Bhawan and Kairana in Shamli district, and Gangoh and Nakur in Saharanpur district.
Hasan said during the campaign she has been covering about 15 villages every day, assisted by her daughter.