Muppalla wrote:RamaY wrote:^ Total 274?
No way sir. you have take all the max(HS). 35 in UP is non-starter. I will throw a party if they get 15 seats in UP
If Modi is PM candidate majority of BCs-Yadavas will go to BJP.
Muppalla wrote:RamaY wrote:^ Total 274?
No way sir. you have take all the max(HS). 35 in UP is non-starter. I will throw a party if they get 15 seats in UP
There is now little doubt that the early-morning hanging of Afzal Guru, the Kashmiri who was convicted for the 2001 attack on Parliament, is an intensely political decision. Taken together with the earlier hanging of Ajmal Kasab, the 26/11 terrorist, last November, it shows that the Congress party has decided to shift the terms of the political debate for 2014.
While it is possible to claim that all hangings are political in nature and depend on popular sentiment to some extent, the Kasab and Guru hangings are indicative of a well-thought-out Congress strategy to fight the 2014 elections on an entirely different plank. There is no other reason why the Congress would dawdle over years on the hangings, and then decide on them in just a matter of days.
The common assumption so far has been that the Congress has much to lose in 2014, thanks to its complete mismanagement of the economy under an economist Prime Minister. This is why it is changing the goalposts.
There are several basic reasons for this shift in strategy.
The first is Narendra Modi. Now that it is crystal clear that Modi will be the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the Congress knows it has a fight on its hands. It has, therefore, attempted to close off all opportunities for a political attack from the Right on the Islamic terror front by hanging both Kasab and Guru.
But unlike Guru and Kasab, where the negative political fallout for the Congress would have been limited, it is unlikely that the Congress will play the same hanging card with Balwant Singh Rajaona and Rajiv’s killers, Santhan, Murugan, and Perarivalan. They come from politically more powerful states of Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
The Modi factor behind the hanging was obvious from the timing of Kasab’s execution in November – just a month before the Gujarat elections. The Guru hanging comes just before the Karnataka elections, where the Congress hopes to wrest the state away from the BJP. The BJP has now no chance of retaining the state, since even the floating BJP voter will find the Congress’s actions acceptable.
In carrying out the Guru hanging, the Congress has clearly written off the next election in Kashmir, but is calculating that losing an ally here or one or two seats in this border state is worth the stemming of losses somewhere else.
But one should see the hangings in the context of the Congress’ counter-attack on Saffron terror. This has put the BJP on the defensive on its hardline anti-terror stance. This is Sushil Kumar Shinde’s mastermove that seeks to not only change the government’s image of being soft on terror, but force the BJP to defend its own militant Sangh allies. It can also be seen as an attempt to retain the Muslim vote despite the hangings.
One can speculate that but for Modi’s candidature, the Congress would have preferred the soft option of wooing the minorities and sticking to its aam aadmi stance. But once it became clear that the Gujarat strongman would probably be the face of the anti-Congress opposition in 2014, it had no alternative but to counter Modi’s potential appeal to the Hindu urban voter base in some way.
The second reason for Congress move is to shift the focus of politics away from economic failure to emotive issues like terror. Elections are not usually won on just positive agendas, but also in pandering to popular sentiment and fears.
The Congress knows that it has no chance of defending its economic record in UPA-2, not least because Modi is now painting himself as a development messiah and the nation has been willing to buy at least some of the latter’s achievements. Not only has growth slowed down, but inflation is making the life of the aam aadmi harder. The aam aadmi is angry with the government despite the UPA’s huge spending in his name. And the BJP and the regional parties were in a position to harvest some of this anger in 2014.
The hangings will ensure that the next election debate will not focus entirely on the economic performance of the UPA, but on harder political issues.
It is also an indirect acknowledgement that the Congress is not sure of direct cash transfers – “Aapka paisa, aapke haath” – as a vote-winner in 2014.
The third reason for the hanging is Rahul Gandhi. The Congress knows that Rahul is no vote winner. His wimpy leadership has neither enthused the Congress flock nor is it likely to provide any kind of counter to the virile attacks one can expect from Modi on the campaign trail.
The hangings thus provide the Congress a shelter to hide the weaknesses of their prime ministerial candidate.
However, this shift may come with a cost. The effort is to woo the Hindu vote that may be veering towards Modi, but it could also shift some Muslim votes away from Congress, possibly to regional parties. The question is whether the Congress can manage this balancing act cleverly in the run-up to the 2014 elections.
The fourth reason for the hangings has to relate to the widespread realisation that the Congress has completely lost the faith of the urban middle class – thanks to the various corruption scandals uncovered by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the government’s handling of the Delhi gangrape fallout.
The hanging appeases the urban middle class, which has been the biggest critic of the government’s weakness on terror. Most terrorist acts have happened in urban areas, and the government has had no answer to the challenge. This was one area where Modi’s appeal would have been strongest.
To be sure, the Kasab and Guru hangings will be forgotten long before we reach the 2014 elections. This should again raise the possibility that the Congress may want to call the elections earlier – maybe some time in October 2013, once the winds from Karnataka are clear – so that the economy does not come back to the agenda. But once can only speculate on that possibility.
But the hangings are interesting for another reason: till now, we thought the Congress would focus on the aam aadmi and wooing the minorities, while the BJP would focus on terror and development.
We now will have a BJP candidate talking about development and not terror, and the Congress talking anti-terror and not development.2014 promises to be an interesting challenge. Both the BJP and the Congress have shifted to the other’s territory.
“It pains me at knowing that some people are floating my name (as the prime ministerial candidate)…Whosoever is floating my name for the prime ministerial candidate is not my well wisher),” he told reporters at a sidelines of a function here.
“I don’t want to say anything on the prime ministerial issue),” the chief minister said and sought a full stop to speculation doing the rounds about his prime ministerial ambition and his case being buttressed by some senior JD(U) leaders as a more suitable prime ministerial candidate in the NDA than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
anchal wrote:Going by my assessment of situation in UP, talking across the aam junta, BJP should get 30+ seats in Lok Sabha elections IFF Modi is the PM candidate from the BJP
ramana wrote:Ok. I just dont want people to get too carried away and expect miracles.
To me it looks like polls in 2013 only.
Every Cong man who's called/SMS'd post Afzal hanging has spoken of early polls. Sept-Oct. Saying PC will follow next with Big Bang budget.
Muppalla wrote:Even to have a good chance INC need solve AP before polls. Otherwise this is all psy-ops.
anmol wrote:@Muppalla and munna Ji ,
Do you think recent events have something to do with SC's order to EC to incorporate paper trail in next pilot state polls.
I am afraid that they are rushing for polls before paper trail becomes mandatory all over india.
ramana wrote:Muppalla wrote:Even to have a good chance INC need solve AP before polls. Otherwise this is all psy-ops.
A political tsunami is building up in North India and NC might not have time for solving AP at leisure. When the home is being burnt might not worry about the outhouse.
Pranab Mukherjee took over as President in July 2012, the beneficiary of a twist in the political tale in the Delhi durbar although it appeared that Sonia Gandhi was rather more keen to put up Hamid Ansari as the UPA candidate. Barely a month later, in August 2012, Shinde took over as Home Minister – as part of a larger Cabinet reshuffle that saw Chidambaram take over as Finance Minister.
Shinde said on Saturday that soon thereafter, President Mukherjee returned all pending mercy petitions for reconsideration to the Home Ministry. The file on Afzal Guru’s mercey petition, in particular, was sent back in November 2012 for the Home Ministry to apply its mind again.
Shinde then added that he “examined the file carefully and recommended to the President on January 21 for rejection of Afzal Guru’s petition.”
The President acted on that recommendation – and rejected Guru’s mercy petition on February 3, and Shinde then formally gave approval for Guru’s execution – and set February 9 as the date for it to be carried out.
Read this chronology with Shinde’s comment at the Congress chintan shivir – that the RSS and the BJP were organising terror camps to spawn “Hindu terror” – and one thing stands out. Shinde made that speech on January 20, just the day before he recommended to the President that Guru’s mercy petition be dismissed. Assuming that due application of mind would have preceded the formal recommendation to the President for rejection of the mercy petition, this suggests that Shinde knew at the time that he made his controversial speech that he would be writing to the President and, in a sense, setting a date for Guru’s death.
Shinde’s comments must therefore be seen not as a slip of the tongue but as a deliberate ploy intended to act as a political countervailing force to balance the action that he knew was imminent – the execution of Guru – and the perception among the UPA that it would inflame Muslim passions, particularly in Kashmir. It is indicative of the cynical lengths to which this government will go in order to put a ‘secular’ spin on what ought to have been a clinical assessment of the merits (or lack thereof) of a mercy petition on behalf of the convicted mastermind of one of India’s most outrageous terrorist plots - an attack on Parliament.
Jairam Ramesh Uvacha
He lamented that intellectual opinion was mono-culturistic in Kerala. “A multiplicity of views is not encouraged. You cannot keep your doors closed to technology and innovation. A growing influence of fundamentalism has been destroying Kerala’s assimilative ethos. Kerala is not able to compete with other States in attracting investment. Productive sectors of Kerala economy betray stagnation,” he added. He said Kerala should convert some of its NRI remittances into investment.
By a curious paradox, Kerala had the highest unemployment and suicide rates. “The State depends hugely on NRI remittances. There is undue dependence on federalism. If it is not part of a federal system, Kerala will starve. The State produces only 15 per cent of its rice needs. There is high consumption inequality, partly caused by income inequality resulting from certain patterns of NRI remittances,” he said.
Who in your opinion is the best bet for AP BJP chief ?
ramana wrote:Something is cooking in Kerala
RamaY wrote:He lamented that intellectual opinion was mono-culturistic in Kerala
When newspapers and TV channels flashed images of BJP President Rajnath Singh taking a holy dip at the Maha Kumbh and his presence among Hindu seers at the Allahabad Dharam Sansad, everybody jumped to the conclusion that Hindutva was back on the BJP’s poll agenda.
But Singh says too much is being read into this. In a freewheeling chat with Firstpost, Singh said being at the Kumbh was a matter of personal faith to him and had nothing to do with politics. There is place in it for Hindutva, but Singh’s Hindutva is the same as what the Supreme Court once defined it as – a “way of life”. It could not be an electoral issue for him or his party.
Just good friends? Rajnath Singh says its too early to declare Modi a PM candidate. Reuters
The BJP President says the party will fight the next elections on two planks – highlighting the nine years of Congress-led UPA misrule, and contrasting that with the BJP’s vision of an alternate development agenda.
On the other issue that has been at the centre of media frenzy and public debate – Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s projection as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate – Singh was more candid and forthcoming than ever. He clearly indicated that Modi would play a central role when the BJP challenges the Congress and the UPA in the next general elections. But the time was not right yet to say so.
So when will the BJP take its formal call on Modi? Singh said it would be decided in due course in consultation with all concerned. “The decision would be taken keeping in view the best interests of the party. The Parliamentary Board would accordingly decide when and how,” Singh said.
The two leaders, Singh and Modi, have lately been sharing an excellent relationship. Their display of camaraderie at an extended luncheon meeting at the former’s former residence in New Delhi last month continues to be the talking point in party circles.
Then why did Singh have to issue a rather stern “appeal” to his party men about not raising a public clamour for Modi? They, after all, were reflecting the popular mood? Rajnath’s answer: “The Prime Minister’s position has grace and the party has a due procedure to follow in naming someone as the candidate. When everyone knows that, why should there be “anavasyak bayanbaji (uncalled for statements)?” he asks, not unreasonably.
Singh advises party leaders to focus their public utterances on issues that concern ordinary people. The party will take all concerns into account and keep its best interests in mind when it decides on the PM issue. Incidentally, Singh was party president during the last parliamentary elections and had announced that LK Advani would be the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for 2009.
On Hindutva, given the conflicting signals emanating from Allahabad, Firstpost asked Singh whether ideological issues like the Ram mandir would form a part of the party’s electoral agenda. His reply: “The irony is some people link even cultural and religious occasions like the Kumbh with politics. I have been going to all Kumbhs. The last time when Kumbh had happened, I was Chief Minister of UP and had been there. This should in no way be linked with politics.”
The BJP has no factions, says the new BJP chief .
As for Hindutva, he said: “Why should anyone have an allergy to the word Hindutva? The Supreme Court has described it as a way of life. The people who believe in it have spoken about universal brotherhood. Hindutva is synonymous with cultural nationalism. The Benaras Hindu University (BHU) has the word Hindu in its name, does that make it a communal institution? Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has Muslim in its name, does that make it a communal institution? Politics should be separate from matters of faith”, Singh said.
“The BJP will go to the next polls on real issues that concern people. The Congress’s misrule on various counts for the last nine years will be a major talking point. But we will not stress on negative issues (alone). We will go to the polls with a development agenda. We have had six years of the Vajpayee government at the centre and performance of BJP-ruled state governments. We are for inclusive growth, creation of more jobs and bringing down economic disparities”, Singh said about his party’s campaign plank.
Outsiders have suggested that the BJP needs to prepare for the elections and a key element in this is to contain factionalism in the party. When asked how he planned to end infighting, Singh side-stepped the question. “Where is factionalism? Had there been factional feuds, how was I elected by consensus, that too for the third time?”
What is so special about him that makes him return to the President’s post after three years, an honour that was so far reserved only for Atal Behari Vajpayee and LK Advani? Singh smiles and says, “I can’t say. Only the party can respond to it. Change of responsibility is a natural process in the party. When Nitin Gadkari resigned there was a consensus in the party that I should be entrusted with this responsibility.”
The mood in his office is upbeat and the number of visitors is much more now than what was the case when he had relinquished the office three years ago after being at the helm for four years. Perhaps this time around workers and sympathisers are sensing that the party had better prospects for a return to power.
Singh’s first challenge will be to create a new team of office-bearers before the National Executive and Council meeting from March 1-3 in New Delhi. He has to ensure that his team is announced with the minimum of heartburn and factional feuding.
Rajnath Singh wrote:
The Benaras Hindu University (BHU) has the word Hindu in its name, does that make it a communal institution?
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has Muslim in its name, does that make it a communal institution?
Senior BJP leader and the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitely is eyeing on the Jaipur Parliamentary constituency which is considered to be a safe seat for him. Jaitely has never contested the Lok Sabha election.
Jaipur Parliamentary constituency is dominated by Brahmin voters. Jaitely had also tried to contest from Jaipur in 2009. But senior party leader LK Advani advised Jaitely not to contest the poll as the latter was looking after the poll management.
BJP’s Girdhari Lal Bhargava represented the pink city Jaipur in the Lok Sabha for six times in a row. However, Congress candidate Mahesh Joshi defeated Bhargava by around 16, 000 votes on the prestigious seat in 2009 general election.
BJP has decided to field their senior leaders in the coming Lok Sabha poll. In 2009 too, senior leaders including Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh successfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh respectively.
Jaitely was also instrumental in bringing Vasundhara Raje back as Rajasthan BJP chief.
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