Gandhis’ poll tourism inspires funny comments?
BJP emerges the only alternative
By Amba Charan Vashishth?
At a time when the self-styled ‘secular’ parties — the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) — are engaged in a mad rat race for Muslim and caste votes, Bharatiya Janata Party is sitting pretty on its own agenda of good governance, clean administration, antodya and commitment to appeasement of none and justice to all. BJP national president Nitin Gadkari has released party’s vision document that promises to turn the State into a Sarvottam (the best) Pradesh.
The Congress-BSP-SP trio seems bent on confusing and befooling the voter. BSP and SP are united in their support to Congress-led UPA at the Centre and are calling each other’s name in the State.
Congress made an election-eve announcement of 4.5 per cent reservation to Muslims out of 27 per cent of OBC quota for instant gain. It had to eat a humble pie when the EC put on hold this decision. Earlier, Mayawati attempted to upstage Congress by writing to Prime Minister to enhance Muslim reservation. Not to lag behind Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid promised an 8 per cent reservation. When EC took objection, Congress claimed that it was the promise it made in 2002 and 2007 assembly and 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Unabashedly, Congress did not apologise to the people for failing to honour this promise for the last over 33 months. SP has raised the pitch to 18 per cent reservation for Muslims. The minority community has seen through their game. These gimmicks have prompted a Shia Muslim leader say derisively, ”No party has done anything for their (Muslim) welfare”.
This hype has generated a heart-burning among OBCs whose quota of reservation will stand curtailed by the percentage all these parties promise.
All this is squarely intended to motivate Muslims with the bait of reservation on religion basis to vote for a particular political party/candidate which is an offence under Section 123 of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951.
Second fiddle to fundamentalists
The Salman Rushdie episode is another instance of dubious Congress dealings to keep fundamentalists in good humour during elections. It is a shame that Congress-led UPA government and Rajasthan Congress governments failed to ensure safety to the great world literary figure of Indian origin who was to attend the 5-day Jaipur Literary Festival. Media reports suggest that to block Rushdie visit Rajasthan police ‘invented’ theory of plot against him.
This conduct has obliterated the fine distinction between a fundamentalist regime and the one presently in India — the former working on its own free will and the latter willingly subservient to fundamentalist diktats.
By fielding its firebrand leader Uma Bharati from Bundelkhand BJP seems to have upset Rahul’s applecart. In frustration he branded her an outsider to UP. But little did he anticipate that it would boomerang on him, his mother and the Congress. Uma Bharati hit back reminding him that Sonia Gandhi was an ‘outsider’ to India.
If Uma Bharati is a non-UPian by Rahul’s reckoning, more so is he himself and his mother by the same standard. They were not born, bred and educated in this land. They have never lived with UP people and felt affinity with them, sharing their moments of joys and sorrows. They themselves are electoral tourists who hop around Amethi and Rae Bareily parliamentary constituencies for the pleasure of seeking political power at the time of elections or on occasional routine visits. Whatever may be the purpose behind the grant of about Rs 40,000 per month as the constituency allowance, they hardly visit their constituency regularly even for two days a month on an average.
Rahul Gandhi is faced with another dilemma —to allow or not to allow his younger sister Priyanka Vadra to venture out of Amethi and Rae Bareily parliamentary constituencies to the rest of the State. “I will do whatever he (Rahul) wants me to do”, she has said. Although she is the lone campaigner in these constituencies she doesn’t hog the limelight of mother-brother success and credit doesn’t stick to her. But people will be quick to give glory to Priyanka glamour for any success outside these constituencies, which Sonia-Rahul do not seem to relish.
Gone are the days when political parties could rob people of their votes on false promises and glibe talk. Now the voter is wise and vigilant. UP people have seen — and suffered — the regimes of Mayawati, Mulayam Singh and till two decades back of Congress. They all made the State suffer the worst of times. Rahul Gandhi now promises to change the face of UP. His forefathers did get the opportunity for too long but they only defaced it. The only alternative and choice left for the voters is to give BJP another chance. BJP president Shri Nitin Gadkari hopes to get a clear majority to give the State a clean and efficient government that will come up to peoples’ expectations.