While the results of the Lok Sabha election will be announced only on Friday, and even the exit polls were not yet out when the Organiser and Panchjanya went to press, the weeklies did not hesitate in declaring Narendra Modi’s electoral victory a fait accompli. “Right from media surveys to TV debates, and from the ghats of Varanasi to leaders’ faces in Amethi, the outcome of the 16th Lok Sabha election appears certain like any day on the calendar. It is only a matter of turning the page to a certain day,” declares Panchjanya, with Modi’s cover picture asserting his victory.
The Organiser highlights how the “so-called divisive figure” of Modi turned into a “unifying” force, while Rahul Gandhi missed the plot altogether and became a “liability” for his party.
“The campaign trail of these elections was unique in many senses. BJP’s Narendra Modi, who was consistently attacked by [the] secular brigade as ‘divisive figure’, turned out to be a unifying force for the nation. On the other hand, Congress’s Rahul proved to be a liability to the party,” says the cover story in the Organiser, its front page declaring that “in response to meticulous campaign run by Modi, Congress is just a trailing reactionary force”.
ADANI IN ELECTION
Against the backdrop of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s attempt to drag the Adani group’s association with Narendra Modi into the election campaign, in order to project the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate as pro-rich, a two-page report in Panchjanya expresses concerns about dragging the names of corporates into the campaign: “From Arvind Kejriwal to even small-time politicians are hurling allegations against Adani. For what purposes is the world of industry being dragged into the election campaign? This is not going to send any positive message to national or international investors,” says the article, underscoring that the “Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are training their guns against corporates”. The report also tries to dispel allegations of Modi’s Gujarat government favouring Ambani and Adani, saying that “Ambani and Adani had heavy investments even before Modi became Gujarat chief minister. Ambani and Adani are also making similar investments in other states as well”. The Sangh Parivar’s affection for home-grown small industries apart, the Panchjanya report cautions us against attacking corporates for political gains.
Both weeklies express their concern about ethnic violence in Assam. Although suggesting that such violence is an outcome of the rising number of Bangladeshi infiltrators, the reports in both weeklies say that electoral politics is behind the recent violence. “Usually a Bodo has been winning the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha seat, but apprehensions about this trend not continuing, in the wake of an understanding between non-Bodo organisations and about four lakh Muslims, are being considered a reason for the violence…” says Panchjanya in its report.
“Unlike earlier, the recent spate of violence in the Kokrajhar and Baksa districts of the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) in Assam has been triggered by electoral politics and not over the control of land,” says the report, underlining that “this time the violence has been restricted to the Kokrajhar parliamentary constituency where Bengali Muslims have been targeted as they are suspected to have voted against the Bodoland People’s Front’s (BPF) candidate”.
Both weeklies, however, criticise Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for their attitude towards alleged Bangladeshi infiltrators to suit their “vote bank politics”.
Compiled by Ravish Tiwari