Riots eclipse son-rise in west UP politics

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SP leader and UP PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav during a visit to Muzaffarnagar on Saturday. SP leader and UP PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav during a visit to Muzaffarnagar on Saturday.
SummaryChanged equations Anger within Jat, Gurjar and Muslim communities and against state and central govts creates roadblock for political scions.

The communal clashes in western Uttar Pradesh have disturbed the political equations in more ways than one. Apart from creating a fertile ground for polarisation of votes, the riots have cast a long shadow on the ground that several political stalwarts busy preparing for their sons in the region.

The first to feel the heat of the riots is Gaurav Swaroop, son of Minister of State for Minority Welfare and Muzaffarnagar MLA Chitranjan Swaroop. Gaurav, who handles the family business of rolling mills, will be contesting his first election as Samajwadi Party’s candidate for Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha seat and was banking on Muslim votes.

“But the political situation has changed after the violence. We believe in taking along all communities. Now, there is anger and resentment among some sections against SP. Hopefully, it will settle down when the real picture emerges,” Chitranjan said.

Former Congress MP Saeeduzzaman is also finding it tough to launch his son Salman Saeed in the 2014 elections. Saeeduzzaman had an image of acceptability among all sections of the society.

It has, however, changed after the violence. A case of making provocative speeches and violation of prohibitory orders has been lodged against Saeeduzzaman and his son at a panchayat of Muslims held on August 30 in Muzaffarnagar. His secular image has been dented and his son who was vying for Congress ticket, is now keeping a low profile.

Virender Singh, a Gurjar leader, is also facing a similar situation. Virender was appointed as chairman of the Seed Development Corporation and given minister of state rank by the Akhilesh Yadav government. Using his political clout, Virender also succeeded in getting his son Maneesh Chauhan elected as chairman of the Shamli Zila Panchayat.

Virender had planned a bigger role for Maneesh who was organising Gurjar rallies in the western region of the state, projecting himself as the leader of the community. His rallies attracted good crowds. However, the situation changed drastically after the Muzaffarnagar violence. Virender, who is also part of harmony committee formed by state government, is now finding it difficult to convince his community to support the SP. He has even withdrawn his claim for the Bijnore Lok Sabha seat.

Former MP Ameer Alam and his son and MLA from Budhana Nawazish Alam Khan are also facing difficult times. Ameer Alam has been chosen by SP the for Bijnore Lok Sabha seat, banking on Muslim votes.

But the recent developments indicate that he

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