Accusing the BJP and RSS of “systematically stoking communal passions”, the CPM’s People’s Democracy has said “the worst of the vote bank politics — the consolidation of the majority Hindu vote bank — is now being unleashed.” In its editorial, People’s Democracy claims this phenomenon gained momentum before the last two phases of the Lok Sabha election because “the bulk of the seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will go to polls in these phases… Apart from sending the largest number of members to the Lok Sabha, UP and Bihar constitute the heartland of the Hindi belt which is crucial for the communal forces and often regarded as their strongest support base…”
The editorial adds that while such “polarisation” may help the BJP win votes, it will be at the “grave expense of India’s unity and integrity and communal harmony… It is by now clear that the BJP had embarked, as usual, on an agenda of doublespeak and a dual track strategy. In areas where communal polarisation may not fetch handsome electoral dividends, it has harped upon development at its agenda trying to camouflage its real agenda of communal polarisation. Now that elections to most of these parts of the country are over in the first seven phases, it is baring its communal fangs,” it asserts.
The editorial claims the BJP and RSS “are perfecting Hitler’s fascistic propaganda methods” on the one hand and “re-living Machiavellian diabolism” on the other, and says this “is a dangerous combination of a particular methodology and an ideology that pursues the RSS agenda of transforming the secular democratic Indian Republic into a rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu Rashtra’.”
The CPI’s New Age, while applauding the Election Commission for a high voter turnout in the Lok Sabha polls, says that the poll panel has been unable to control the “money-muscle power” that has “continued to play its vicious role”.
“As these elections are being fought directly by the corporate capital, money has flowed like water. Almost all the bourgeois political parties, national and regional both, have been financed by the corporate to the hilt. Though the Election Commission has claimed that it had confiscated about 300 crore that were being smuggled into the constituencies, it has no mechanism to control the flow of black money to the coffers of the parties,” says an editorial. It further claims that some parties have also “misused official machinery” and the BJP tops the list in this. Calling for an “overhaul” of the entire political system, the editorial demands that the first past the post system be “discarded” and partial proportional representation brought in.
Focusing on the communal violence in Assam, the CPI(ML)’s ML Update accuses the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress state government of failing to monitor activities of the militant groups in the affected region known to be at “high risk for such violence”. Accusing the BJP and Narendra Modi of “stoking hate against Muslims”, the editorial says, “In its manifesto for Assam, the BJP’s Assam unit promised to identify and evict all ‘illegal immigrants’ from Assam; making it clear that it would treat only Muslims as ‘illegal immigrants’ while welcoming ‘Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and members of the Scheduled Castes’ as ‘refugees’ from Bangladesh.”
“The politics of branding Muslim citizens in W. Bengal and Assam as ‘illegal immigrants’ must be challenged and defeated, and at the same time, a humane and secular policy towards refugees from neighbouring countries fleeing persecution, as well as economic migrants, must be evolved urgently,” says the editorial.
Compiled by Ruhi Tewari