View From The Right: Poll lessons


Published: February 19, 2020 12:26:16 am

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia. (Express photos by Renuka Puri)

Not having a CM face and focusing on “horrific” polarising jingoism cost the BJP the elections in Delhi, the English mouthpiece of the RSS, Organiser, has said in its latest issue.

An article titled, “No Lessons Learnt” by Suchitra Kulkarni, says: “The BJP did not have a credible face to project as the chief minister. The suave, smooth-talking Kejriwal has a way with words and manages to connect with the electorate through his advertisement chats.” Commenting on the BJP’s vitriolic campaign, the article compared it to Sonia Gandhi’s “Maut ka Saudagar” comment. “The BJP’s intemperate verbal diarrhoea was horrific to say the least — ‘Desh ke gaddron ko, goli maaro saalo ko’ had no place in a state election. Another Union minister called Kejriwal a terrorist. Both dialogues were right up there with Sonia Gandhi’s ‘maut ka saudagar’ comment during the Gujarat elections. And they probably cost the BJP quite a few votes from the educated middle class,” the article says.

According to the article, while AAP showcased its schools and mohalla clinics, the BJP had to carry the burden of inept municipal councillors. The article criticises the BJP for its inability to conceive a local campaign: “Election after election, the BJP has managed to confuse national issues with state elections. The CAA is done and dusted… don’t even talk about it. The plank should have been — how Delhi would develop seamlessly if BJP came to power.”

Shaheen Bagh

The CAA protests have continued to figure in Organiser. In the latest issue, it has tried to analyse their impact on the Delhi elections and what it means for the future. An article blamed the “majority” for falling for freebies rather than being worried about the dangers Shaheen Bagh poses.

“Shaheen Bagh was milked to the hilt for elections by Left-secular communal forces. It was nurtured by AAP’s minister Amanatullah Khan… Yes, it didn’t matter for the ‘majority’ community as its voting percentage and results show. They preferred the comfort of free facilities over the frightening scenario they witnessed in the name of CAA protests…” an article written by Ratan Sharda claims.

Arguing that the AAP’s win should not be seen as a validation of the Shaheen Bagh protests, the article says, “Shaheen Bagh was a cover up to give a sheen of respectability to Jihadi elements who had unleashed violence in the name of anti-CAA protests claiming it was against Muslims… This agitation saw (the) most poisonous hate mongering but critics blame it on BJP. Secular lobbies and their mentors haven’t changed.”

The article adds: “What is sinister about the Shaheen Bagh model is the axis of Islamists and Marxist nexus… Seculars of all shades, including Congress, were cheering them on. These groups were so happy that there is no law and order repercussion from the government that they began replicating it in other parts of India. There was nothing spontaneous about Shaheen Bagh or its succeeding sit-ins. The very fact that the Shaheen Bagh people went home on the day the elections were over, shows the intent.”

Bodo Accord

Organiser has hailed the Bodo Accord as an electoral bulwark against the setbacks the BJP may face due to anti-CAA protests in Assam. Calling the accord a masterstroke that will further marginalise the Congress in Assam, the article has expressed hope that the BJP could win 12 seats in the Bodo region.

“From the perspective of general popularity and electoral politics… the BJP is set for rich dividends. The BJP is eyeing 12 seats in the Bodo region for itself and possibly for its regional alliance partners. In Bengali-dominated Cachar valley, where the CAA has overwhelming acceptance, there would be 15 seats. Here too, the Lotus party feels it can gain from the Hindu votes even as Bengali Muslims grudge it with more intensity. The Muslim votes in Cachar Valley and parts of Dhubri district could now actually go to the AIUDF of Badruddin Ajmal,” the article claims.

It added that the accord sets a template for resolving regional disputes: “There are demands for such separate homelands in other parts of Assam and in other states as well. Following the Accord, it is presumed that it will be useful for the Centre to reach out to other tribal groups in states like Manipur, and, to an extent in Nagaland — in the Mon-Tuensang region there is already a clamour for a separate Union Territory status — and also to other ethnic and tribal groups in Assam such as those in Karbi Anglong.”

Curated by Deeptiman Tiwary

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