Skip to main content

Advantage BJP in UP as shrill Modi campaign now attempts to create Hindu-Muslim divide: Top scribe

By Our Representative
Virtually backing the banned exit polls carried out by the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran's online site as also other surveys, top scribe Rajdeep Sardesai has predicted in a blog, written by him at the end of the three rounds of polling for UP state assembly, it's “advantage BJP”, with Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress alliance being “still in the hunt.”
Sardesai's prediction is based, to quote him, “The BJP talks of sabka saath sabka vikas in Delhi but on the ground the campaign is getting more shrill and polarised in an attempt to create a Hindu-Muslim divide.”
Pointing out that “there has been a distinct and disturbing communal edge to the BJP campaign, especially in western UP”, Sardesai says, “The key now lies in eastern UP where the BJP will look to achieve further consolidation of its Hindu, non Yadav OBC/EBC, upper caste alliance to pull firmly ahead.”
In a series of tweets over the last two days, Sardesai has said, the two chief opponents of the BJP, SP-Congress alliance and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are preying “on fears of a Muslim 'vote bank'”, creating “conditions for a Hindu backlash.”
He has also tweeted, “Wither 'secular' politics? Muslims demonised by BJP, 'used' by SP-Congress and Mayawati!”.
Commenting on the latest controversial comment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding equality of the Muslim graveyard and the Hindu cremation ground in village, he tweets, “BJP hasn't given a single Muslim a ticket: How do you ensure 'sabka saath sabka vikas' without any political representation?”
A top right-wing site has, meanwhile, has reported a survey by Times Now-VMR, saying that BJP will win “at least 202 out of the 403 total seats” in the UP assembly elections, winning 34% of the vote share. The SP-Congress alliance, “formed to prevent BJP from coming to power in the state, will manage to win only 147 seats” attracting a “little over 31 per cent vote share”, it adds.
After visiting UP on several occasions, Sardesai says, “The BJP remains in pole position at the half way mark. In almost every region, the BJP is in the race and the party has a wider social coalition, giving it a slight edge over its rivals who have strong pockets of influence.”
No doubt, he says, “There is no Modi wave like 2014 this time, but the prime minister is still the most popular leader across caste and communities (except Muslims). The failure though to build a strong, credible local leadership remains an Achilles heel. The PM's appeal is in fact well above the party.”
Sardesai believes, “The BJP's core vote among upper castes and traders in urban pockets is intact despite demonetisation which is not a decisive issue on the ground. It's incremental 'plus' vote is coming from the extremely backward castes... who are numerically strong. It's the non-Yadav OBC who is emerging as the BJP's key vote bank. ”
As for SP's Akhilesh Yadav, says Sardesai, he is “emerging as a pan-UP leader in his own right”, though adding, “There is little anger against him but his MLAs do face anti incumbency. Akhilesh is particularly popular among youth who see him as a face of the future. Law and order is a major concern in urban areas, but Akhilesh is rated strongly as a development oriented leader.”
No doubt, he says, the SP-Congress combine has “unified the Muslim vote considerably and there is little division in the Muslim vote between the SP and the BSP that the BJP is hoping for. The alliance today is essentially an MY (Muslim Yadav) consolidation of votes but it is struggling to get incremental votes.”
However, he regrets, the Congress, which is a "weak link" in the alliance, "is unable to easily transfer its traditional upper caste votes to the SP candidates in the alliance.”
Coming to Mayawati, says Sardesai, she is “ struggling to make an impact, adding, “Her Jatav vote is intact, but she is unable to attract the 'plus' vote that was crucial to her success in the past, especially in 2007. Even the Muslim vote has gone to her only in limited areas where the BSP candidate was very strong.”

Comments

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.

Gujarat CM aide 'doubts' authenticity of Gandhi article published in 'Harijan'

By Rajiv Shah
A top aide of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has doubted the authenticity of the article written by Mahatma on Gandhi January 27, 1948, three days before his death. Hitesh Pandya, who was assistant public relations officer (PRO) under Narendra Modi’s chief ministership in Gujarat, and is currently serving as PRO of Rupani, has said, there is “reason to doubt”, since the article appeared on February 1, 1948, two days after Gandhi’s assassination.

Why nobody objected to Gautam Gambhir, Sunny Deol in t-shirt, jean?: Activists

By Our Representative
Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan’s excitement on their first day as MPs was overshadowed by a barrage of sexism over their ‘non- sanskari’ outfits, a group of civil society activists have said in a statement. According to Aarushi Nigam, Divya Kaushik, Riya Sharma, Ruman Ganguly, and Anulekha Agarwal, both Bengali actors and first-time MPs "were certainly excited to take them on when they posted pictures from their new workplace on social media."
Hit by misogynistic comments, the activists say, "Their choice of workwear – jeans and a white button-down shirt for Mimi, a wine-coloured peplum suit for Nusrat – was the first and last word on their political competence for many."
“You’re not on vacation”, “they have mistaken Parliament for Kolkata’s Nicco Park or City Centre”, “this is not a photo studio, this is a place where you should fight for people’s rights and legislate”, “keep some respect towards your Bengali society” were some of the &quo…

Australian protesters picket, stop work of Adani contractors for Carmichael coalmine

By Our Representative
Australian protesters have stopped work at the Mackay office of piping company AC Whalan, demanding the company withdraws its tender from Adani’s controversial Carmichael coalmine mine.Twenty-year-old Lisa Amato locked herself to the gate of the facility, while a group of 30 people formed a picket line. Adani is a top Indian tycoon close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The group say they have information that AC Whalan have put in a tender for Adani’s polyethylene pipe contract, though the company have not publicly announced. Spokesperson Donna Smit said, “AC Whalan have not publicly declared their interest in Adani’s Carmichael mine, understandably because the majority of Australians do not want this climate destroying mine.”
“The message we are sending to AC Whalan and all other companies involved with Adani is that we have our eyes on Adani’s contractors. With the effects of climate breakdown being seen right now across this country, any company that hopes to…