BJP launches drive to profile SP’s Muslim candidates

A day after the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) announced their first joint list of 29 candidates who will be contesting in the first phase of elections, the BJP has started a campaign to profile and attack SP’s Muslim candidates based on criminal complaints lodged against them in the past. The party said nominating such candidates is a “message” that the SP cannot “dissociate” itself from criminals and rioters.

A social media campaign was started by the BJP where four of the nine Muslim candidates fielded by the SP were profiled as “criminals” with the party asking the public to be “wary” of them.

For one of the candidates, Aslam Chaudhary, the BJP highlighted a complaint filed against him for “inciting hatred between two communities” after he gave a statement in November last year in the wake of an “encounter” involving seven alleged cattle smugglers in Ghaziabad. Seven youth, including a minor, were shot at exactly the same point in their legs by the police for alleged “cow smuggling”. In a video that had gone viral, Chaudhary was seen accusing BJP MLA Nandkishore Gurjar of protecting the SHO Rajendra Tyagi who was being investigated upon for the encounter and had said that he would “exact revenge” on Gurjar.

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