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Yogi Adityanath’s rule in Uttar Pradesh has been marked by the systematic persecution of Muslims, not just on the ground, but also through new laws such as the one on ‘love jihad’.
With many development indicators sliding in the state, he now faces a tough electoral battle to win again in the next election in early 2022.
Gilles Verniers, assistant professor of political science at Ashoka University and longtime researcher of UP politics, says that the BJP has succeeded in bringing various caste groups through the ‘cementing factor’ of communalisation.
In this podcast interview with Sidharth Bhatia, Verniers says that five years of BJP rule has seen ‘backsliding of democracy’ in the state and if it wins, the BJP will see it as a ‘vindication of its communal politics’.