The fight between two neighbours in a Noida housing society involving alleged impersonator Shrikant Tyagi has snowballed into a crisis for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with the local administration paying the price for not calling his bluff promptly. Tyagi was caught on camera abusing and threatening a woman resident of the apartments after which the self-styled politician fled Noida but was eventually caught.
The Tyagi fraternity of the area has made the 'honour' of arrested Shrikant Tyagi an issue of prestige. The clan has planned a show of strength through a mahapanchayat tomorrow, 21 August, in Noida.
Tyagis are organising themselves also in Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, mobilising the community with tractor trolleys and buses from the western districts of Uttar Pradesh — Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Bijnor, Baghpat and Shamli. Moreover, a large number of people are reaching out from Haryana and Rajasthan.
Some other clans that identify with the feudal group, including members of some farmers' organisations, will attend the event tomorrow.
The response to the call for solidarity with the arrested Shrikant Tyagi is so overwhelming that the organisers had to change the venue for the mahapanchayat from Village Gejha to the Ramlila Maidan of Maharishi Ashram. Huge tents have been erected in the ground that has a capacity of more than 1 lakh people. Preparations are afoot on a large scale, which includes arrangements for water, toilets, food and beverages at the venue.
The apprehension of untoward incidents before, during or after the function is stretching the resources of Noida Police thin. The men in khaki have been asked to be on high alert.
According to sources, earlier the police considered not allowing the crowd to enter Noida; then they decided against it as the blockade could escalate the tension, leading to a law-and-order situation. Police are deployed at various places to maintain peace.
The Yogi Adityanath government is keeping a close eye on the Tyagi Mahapanchayat. The outfits attending the event have expressed anger at Gautam Budh Nagar MP Mahesh Sharma and Noida Police. Local BJP leaders are, meanwhile, trying to placate the community, fearing their switch to a different party in the caste-ridden politics of Uttar Pradesh. The party has deputed workers to monitor the speeches delivered at the mahapanchayat while they will also report to their leaders if miscreants are spotted in the crowd.
Tyagis are a class of farmers who claim to be Brahmins. The landholding community is confined to Western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan. They are often considered the highest of the agricultural castes.