Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary has chosen the "wrong home", Union Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday as he reached out to Jat leaders at a meeting in New Delhi ahead of the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP suggested that its doors were open for the RLD leader.
According to sources, while talking to Jat leaders from western Uttar Pradesh, Mr Shah said the ideology of both the party and the community is the same as both keep national interest first and have been fighting against ''invaders''.
The meeting held at the residence of BJP MP Parvesh Verma was also attended by the party's prominent Jat leaders including Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan who is an MP from Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh.
Jats are a deciding factor in almost all the seats in western Uttar Pradesh, a region where the RLD enjoys influence among the community. The RLD, led by former prime minister Charan Singh's grandson Jayant Chaudhary, has joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party this time.
"In the meeting, we have suggested that people of the Jat community talk to Jayant Chaudhary. Doors of the BJP are always open," Mr Verma later told reporters.
The BJP's outreach is significant as there are apprehensions that the over year-long farmers' agitation against the three agri laws, which have since been repealed, will affect its prospects.
However, the RLD leader gave a terse response.
"Invite those +700 farmer families which you have destroyed, not me," he tweeted in Hindi.
Talking about RLD, Shah said at the meeting that Jayant Chaudhary "has chosen the wrong house".
Citing the various steps taken by the Modi government for the community, Mr Shah said the it appointed three Jat governors and has nine Jat MPs. Expressing gratitude towards the community, Shah said the BJP got the community's blessings due to which the party could win in 2014, 2017, 2019 elections.
"With your support, I believe you will again make us win this election as well," he said.
Mr Shah said the BJP government named a university in Aligarh in Jat king's name, has constructed expressways and brought in Jewar airport for employment and prosperity in western Uttar Pradesh.
Pagdi, a symbol of Jat pride, was tied on the head of Mr Shah at the meeting.
Mr Balyan said that Jats would never prefer SP chief Akhilesh Yadav as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
The developments came a day before Mr Shah and several other top BJP leaders, including Union Minister Rajnath Singh, were scheduled to visit western Uttar Pradesh. Mr Shah held similar meetings with leaders from the Jat community ahead of the 2017 assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.