The article has been reproduced form the Political Diary column written by Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya and is relevant even today.
Despite the unfavourable result, my first experience as a candidate in Jaunpur bye-election has been happy. People might not have voted for the Jana Sangh candidate, but they appreciated its policies and supported its stand. If the Jana Sangh lost the seat it was not because of any lack of support in the electorate, but simply because it could not prove a match to the underhand practices of the Congress. Anyway, defeat has to be accepted. There should be no attempt to explain it away. However, the whole campaign should be closely analysed so that the pitfalls may be avoided in future.
I was an outsider
The Jana Sangh fought the election on the basis of political and economic issues. As in Amroha and Farrukhabad, it demanded a change in the Government’s China Policy; it opposed levy on land revenue and the compulsory deposits scheme, and pleaded for no change in the Constitutional provisions with regard to the Official language of the Union. The people in general agreed with the Jana Sangh’s point of view.
The Congress, however, chose a different strategy. It threw to winds Pandit Nehru’s advice of educating the electorate with regard to the basic Congress policies. On the contrary they tried to confuse and befuddle them. From the very first day they fanned parochialism of the basest kind. The President of the District Congress Committee issued a leaflet targetting Jana Sangh of importing an ‘outsider from thousands of miles away’ and sought support for the Congress candidate because he was a local man.
Shri Ajit Prasad Jain, president of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, took exception to this leaflet in his public speech, and citing his own example of having contested-and won-from Tumkur in Mysore, said that a citizen of India could seek election to the Lok Sabha from whichever constituency he chose, irrespective of his place of birth or residence. He also appreciated that the Jana Sangh’s electioneering was mainly based on national issues.
Jaunpur a nation ?
But this exhortation had hardly any effect on the local Congress bosses. They continued to arouse local sentiments, so much so that days before the polling, services of the Congress candidate to the ‘land of Jaunpur’, were versified. “Here is a man” the verse said, “born in Jaunpur, made from the clay that is Jaunpur, who breathes the air of Jaunpur, who has lived for Jaunpur and who would die for Jaunpur.” “The Jana Sangh candidate’ the poem went on, ‘as an All-India leader could seek election from any other constituency in the country, but where could Shri Rajdeo Singh go? If he was to be elected, it would be from Jaunpur or else he would not be elected at all.”
Thus Jaunpur was epitomised as a nation, and the Congress candidate glorified him as its national hero. And all this was being done at a time when the Congress leaders were denouncing regional and parochial loyalties and the Parliament adopted the anti-secession Bill. It has to be seen if the returned Congress Candidate in the Lok Sabha will speak for the country or for Jaunpur.
The second point that the Congress campaigner emphasised was the part played by Congress and the candidate in the 1942 movement. They never spoke of the present, but of the past. And the common slogan was “We do not want a vote for the Congress but for Rajdeo Singh. He has all along been neglected by the Congress. Now for the first time he has got a chance of his life. Please do not disappoint him.”
Do you know BJS invited China to invade India ?
As such it was the personality of the Congress candidate that was being projected through all means. The current issues were either not taken up or statements altogether false were reported to them, For example Shri Hargovind Singh, Uttar Pradesh Planning Minister said at one of the workers’ meetings that the Chinese invaded India because Raja Saheb Jaunpur, the Jana Sangh Leader, had sent an invitation to Chou En-Lai to this affect. In one of his public speeches he said that America would stop all help to India if the Congress was defeated at Jaunpur. Shri Kamlapati Tripathi, U.P. Finance Minister, in one of his speeches reported, in the press said that the land revenue was increased only at the behest of the Jana Sangh leader in the Assembly?
Congress just would not talk policies
All these palpable lies were believed by the electorate. I have mentioned them only to show that so far as the policies were concerned the Congress campaigners were never confident. On the contrary they knew that the people were so opposed to the Congress policies that they tried somehow to associate Jana Sangh with the formulation of these policies. Obviously the Congress has lost so far as the policy part of the election is concerned. Diffidence of the Congress in this regard is also evident from its decision to change its nominee at Amroha. Thus the verdict of the people is against Government’s policies in respect of China, language and Taxation. In this regard the Jaunpur electorate does not differ from their Amroha and Farrukhabad compatriots. Even if we ignore other malpractices of a very serious nature indulged in by the Congress, which are to a great responsible for the Congress votes, it can be confidently asserted that the people of Jaunpur too have rejected the Congress policies.
Under the circumstances, it should not be unfair to expect that the Government, if it wants to remain democratic, would change its policies. Let them not ignore the trends that so unmistakably manifest. Let them not take shelter behind the letter of the constitution. Conventions are more powerful and abiding than constitutional provisions. Democratic conversions demand a radical change both in the policies and composition of the present Government.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (Reproduced from Political Diary column written by Deendayal Upadhyaya in Organiser issue dated June 3, 1963)