View From The Right: Reading Kairana

The editorial argues that the voting pattern clearly suggests that in a constituency like Kairana — in which the BJP secured over 50 per cent of the vote in 2014 with a 73 per cent voter turnout, only 45.7 percent votes could be retained with a 54 per cent turnout in the bypoll.

Updated: June 6, 2018 12:10:56 am
Reading Kairana The editorial in Organiser says that if results are analysed carefully, the conclusion to be drawn is that the BJP has lost the majority on its own. (Express photo by Vishal Srivastav/Files)

The editorials in both Organiser and Panchjanya are about the results of the recently held bypolls, including in the Kairana Lok Sabha constituency where the BJP lost the seat to an Opposition candidate. The editorial in Organiser says that if results are analysed carefully, the conclusion to be drawn is that the BJP has lost the majority on its own. It claims that while elections were held for four Lok Sabha and 11 Assembly constituencies in various states, the discussion would revolve around Kairana in Uttar Pradesh because it is here that the arithmetic of Opposition unity is clearly visible. The editorial argues that the voting pattern clearly suggests that in a constituency like Kairana — in which the BJP secured over 50 per cent of the vote in 2014 with a 73 per cent voter turnout, only 45.7 percent votes could be retained with a 54 per cent turnout in the bypoll. As happened in Gorakhpur and Phulpur earlier this year, the BJP could not get its base to the polling booths. Had it managed to do so, the party would have been in a fight for half the voteshare,as it has been claiming. “Was this an over-confidence or lack of booth level management in bypolls or [the] perception that not enough is done on [the] core poll-plank of Hindutva and core voters or [a] combination of all [of these factors]? The ruling party will have to find… answers to these questions,” reads the editorial.

Organiser also asserts that the election has proved once again that the Congress will continue to play second fiddle to regional parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in UP or the RJD in Bihar. “What will be the nature of such alliances and to what extent it would lead to uncertainty and instability at the national level, will certainly be the issue voters should consider”, the editorial reads.
Panchjanya says that a single word. “Kairana”, has brought the sparkle back to those disappointed faces and parties who had almost gone out of mainstream politics. Its editorial asks why discussions around the bypolls have centred around Kairana and not the other seats where the BJP has won. Its answer: Muslim-dominated Kairana had never been a traditional seat for the BJP. But the editorial also adds that it is matter of concern for the BJP that some of its allies are moving away.

Biased media
Panchjanya, in its regular column on the media, says that the media presents the incidents of atrocities on Hindus as normal news. The column tries to substantiate this argument by claiming that Indian media presented the news of the alleged massacre of Hindus in Myanmar as ordinary “foreign news”. The column further claims that when a BJP worker was found hanging from a tree in West Bengal, other media organisations considered the incident a normal matter, and the news appeared properly only on Republic TV and Zee News. The column also claims that when a youth from a Dalit family — who had converted to Christianity — was murdered in Kerala because he married a girl from an “upper-caste” Roman Catholic family, the media was silent on the incident. Those who did cover the incident presented it as just a matter of “honour killing”. The column claims that most news channels and newspapers follow the line set by the Congress on Dalit issues. It then asserts that when supporters of Lalu Prasad in Raghopur, Bihar, faced allegations of setting ablaze houses of Dalits, local newspapers carried that news as a regular incident of a fire and hid the facts. Panchjanya’s column also targets certain news channels on their political surveys and alleged that a sponsored political game has started in the name of public surveys. Such surveys by ABP News and India Today group indicated that the BJP could face defeat in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan Assembly elections. “That is a way to create an atmosphere in favour of Congress before the elections,” reads the column.

Compiled by Lalmani Verma

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