Jamaat e Islami’s bi-weekly, Daawat, in its lead commentary on the front page (October 28) writes: “Due to the Election Commission announcing dates for assembly elections only to Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has become the target of the opposition parties. The intensifying criticism and attacks have created worries for the BJP and the prime minister has had to step forward…. But despite his total concentration in Gujarat, reports from the state give the impression that this time, the electoral situation there is not to his party’s liking. Following the failure of UP CM Adityanath’s campaign in Gujarat, the BJP’s politics of ‘break and make’ has led to allegations of horse-trading. The unity of the Patidars and their movement towards Hardik Patel is attracting the attention of all the political parties.”
Siasat in its editorial on October 22 writes: “A sentiment of change among the common persons of Gujarat is visible. Anger against the government is palpable among the youth. In other sections of the society too there are mixed sentiments… the PM had made frequent visits to Bihar too forgetting all other states. But the result there was a zero. The support of young OBC leader Alpesh Thakore and Patidar leader Hardik Patel would yield results for the Congress.”
Roznama Khabrein in its editorial of October 28 writes: “These days an extraordinary change is visible in the Congress yuvraj, Rahul Gandhi and his direct contact with the people is also being noticed. The new Rahul style has amazed the BJP and brought people close to him… the Congress is writing a new gatha in Gujarat. The election there will be interesting this time.
Focus on Kashmir
Describing the appointment of the former chief of the Intelligence Bureau, Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor for talks in Jammu & Kashmir as the “first important and positive step in three years for improving the situation in that state”, Roznama Khabrein, in its editorial of October 25, says “the Hurriyat should present its view before the interlocutor.”
Inquilab in its editorial on the same day writes: “A cool introspection indicates that the issue of Kashmir cannot be resolved by force. For a resolution, a planned strategy and the farsightedness to take the people of Kashmir into confidence are needed. The opening of a dialogue is the first step towards confidence-building and from this point of view, the step could be lauded. But this has been done earlier and therefore, its workability seems doubtful. One must remember that this is the fourth attempt in the last 20 years to resolve this situation… Was it not appropriate to study the reports and recommendations of all such committees and make an effort to resolve the situation keeping in mind the delicateness of the time and situation?”
The editorial in Sahafat asks whether political leaders will tell anything to the new interlocutor. “Whatever had been talked about earlier will be repeated again. Apparently, there is space in the Valley but bitter memories cannot be forgotten. Obviously, Sharma cannot accept anything that goes against the chosen path of the Central government… if there is any forward-movement towards reconciliation and peace, it would undoubtedly be welcomed.”
Gag in Jaipur
The controversial ordnance of the Rajasthan government — the draft Bill has now been referred to the select committee — has generated great discussion. Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on October 23, writes: “The restlessness among the opposition parties dues to this measure is inevitable. The question arises if the motivation behind presenting such a Bill and giving it legal status is to silence all voices raised against it?”
The Hindustan Express editorial on October 25 writes: “This ordinance is the worst instance in recent years of a shameless attempt by the government to protect corruption. In a democracy, one cannot think of any law that prohibits reporting a corrupt act. Not long ago there was a campaign against corruption in the country. The BJP, then in the opposition, was pleading for transparency. But today a BJP government at the Centre is avoiding the appointment of a Lok Pal.
Akhbaar-e-Mashriq , in an editorial on October 24, writes: “The hands of a judicial magistrate are already tied under Section 197 of the CrPC and Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1980. He cannot take action against a corrupt employee without the permission of the government. Under this ordinance, the probe underway can also be affected because an investigating agency cannot contact any other government agency without collecting the required evidence.”
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