View From The Right: The Sadhvi Gambit
While the BJP has triggered a debate by fielding Sadhvi Pragya Thakur as a candidate from Bhopal, an editorial in Organiser calls BJP’s move a “masterstroke”. It says, “As the BJP gave another masterstroke by fielding Sadhvi Pragya Bharati as the party candidate from Bhopal against the Congress stalwart Digvijaya Singh, many liberal-intellectual voices raised about her qualifications for being the party candidate. Many openly flagged the ‘Hindu Terror’ accused debate and argued on the grounds of propriety and morality, while the originator of the ‘Hindu-Terror’ theory, the Congress party preferred to keep mum over her candidature and in fact, refrained from participating in the debate and discussions that took place in the television studios.” The editorial goes on to point out the significance of Sadhvi Pragya’s candidature and how it will certainly have electoral consequences. The editorial claims that Sadhvi Pragya was projected as a face of ‘Hindu Terror’ by the Congress, hence her emergence as a challenger to a person who most frequently used the Hindu Terror narrative is a shocker to many.
It further claims that the Congress finds itself in the most perplexing situation as the grand old party can neither defend the “Hindu-Terror” narrative nor can it openly apologise for the same in the election season. “Especially when the Congress is trying to give up the old canard of ‘Secularism’, practised in terms of encouraging fundamentalism, and trying to reinvent itself as the votary of ‘Hinduism’ in the Muslim dominated area of ‘Malapuram’ in Kerala, this move by the BJP has turned out to be the bone in the throat for Congress,” the editorial reads.
A cover story in Panchjanya says that the alliance knots of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) are loosening, and that they are set to blame the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) fearing defeat. The story claims that the BSP chief Mayawati was closely monitoring whether the SP and RLD have transferred their traditional votes in support of BSP, just like her party did in favour of SP and RLD in the first two phases of polls.
The story claims that when Mayawati seemed convinced that the BSP did not get SP’s votes, she fielded Shyam Singh Yadav as the candidate from Jaunpur — a setback for SP president Akhilesh Yadav, who wanted to field his cousin brother, and sitting Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Yadav, in that seat. He had also discussed an exchange of the Ballia seat with BSP against Jaunpur. The story further adds that the BSP, in the Maharajganj seat of Bihar, has fielded Sadhu Yadav, brother-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, against the opposition’s alliance candidate. The story says that SP MP Tej Pratap Yadav is married to Lalu’s daughter, and, “In this way, Mayawati has given an open challenge to entire Yadav family… that is a challenge to the entire Yadav community”.
An article in Organiser says that a “frustrated TMC mobilises Bangladeshi film actors, Ferdous Ahmed and Gazi Noor, to woo the Bangladeshi infiltrators in elections” in West Bengal. The article says that political analysts in West Bengal have been reflecting on conundrum for a while — “how a foreign national, holding a business visa, would actively participate in the election campaign for a political party?”
The article claims that the TMC used Ahmed, a Bangladeshi film actor for its election campaign in the Indo-Bangladesh bordering blocks like Goalpokhar and Islampur. Nevertheless, the Indian foreign ministry has taken action against Ahmed and he has been blacklisted — his business visa now stands cancelled, the article states. It adds that another Bangladeshi actor, Noor, participated in the TMC election rally at Kamarhati and he accompanied popular TMC leader Madan Mitra too. The article goes on to explain that, “The appearance of Ferdous Ahmed and Gazi Noor on TMC political platform is a part of the game. The rule of the game was set by Left Front in their tenure; they left no stone unturned to make vote bank with illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators.”
Compiled by Lalmani Verma