The editorials in both Organiser and Panchjanya focus on the Karnataka assembly election results in which the BJP emerged as the single-largest party but could not form the government because it lacked a majority in the Assembly. The JD(S) is set to form government with Congress support. “In the long-run, this realignment with the Congress can create [an] existential crisis for sub-regional parties. The party [JD(S)] without any clear strategy or agenda, its candidates lost deposit at more than 100 seats and most of the seats were won in the single region of Old Mysore, that also against the Congress. Now joining hands with Congress will further shrink the base for the family-run party,” argues the editorial.
Organiser goes on to say that in a democracy, numbers are important and every political party tries its best to stitch together a majority in both pre- and post-election scenarios. But mandate, it says, is not just about numbers. It sends a deep-rooted message to all the political parties, and to the country as a whole. The editorial claims that though the electoral verdict in Karnataka appears scattered, it does provide clear lessons to all the players involved. Starting with the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, the editorial says that the high-decibel campaign for the state assembly polls was reduced by the Congress to a divisive agenda. It claims that the outcome clearly negated this agenda and gave a verdict for integration. It is for this reason that the people voted on “governance” issues and, as a result, most of the incumbent ministers from the Congress government lost their seats. The BJP on the other hand, claims the editorial, gave a spectacular performance on the basis of a development agenda and able leadership. It asserts that the “chemistry of Modi magic” and the arithmetic cobbled together by BJP president Amit Shah on the ground proved to be the biggest asset for the party.
Based on the Karnataka verdict, the editorial in Panchjanya asserts that the Congress was no longer a force to reckon with. In the situation that has come pass in the state, Rahul Gandhi has agreed to support Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy, to maintain the significance of the Congress.
Rahul vs Yogi
A section in the cover story in Organiser on the Karnataka election results compares the “strike rate” of Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath in the elections. The story makes the claim as the star campaigner for the Congress, Rahul Gandhi held rallies at 32 places in the state and the party lost in 17 of these constituencies. “A strike rate of about 53 per cent,” reads the article which adds that in certain areas where the Congress leader campaigned — including Karwar, Ankola, Kumta in Uttara Kannada — the Congress lost all these seats: “In contrast, CM of UP Yogi Adityanath campaigned at 35 different places in the state through public meetings and rallies. BJP candidates have won in 23 of those constituencies. It is to be noted that Siddaramaiah had lampooned the UP CM as an North Indian import and his social media team used to address him using his original name (as Ajay Bisht) to spite him. Seems this has not gone down well with the state’s electorate. A lesson in decorum and decency for the Congress!”.
Water, ours and theirs
In an interview given to both Organiser and Panchjanya, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources and River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has said that his ministry plans to divert the Indian share of water flowing to Pakistan through major Himalayalan Rivers. While speaking to the RSS mouthpieces about the four years “achievements of Narendra Modi-led NDA Government”, Gadkari said: “It is true that the water of our share is going to Pakistan. I am trying my best to ensure that we provide that water to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Since the water from many of our rivers is still untapped, we have decided to utilise that water. We are taking up some projects of interlinking of rivers.” Replying a question on the poor condition of the Ganga from Haridwar to Bengal, Gadkari claimed that the river will be cleaned upto about 70-80 per cent by March 2019 and the government has started projects for this endeavour — 11 in Patna, seven in Kanpur and three in Varanasi with some other projects in different cities. “We are identifying the drains falling into the Ganga. We are planning to produce methane from that sewage water. It will help us run 5,000 pollution-free buses from that. We are also entering into an agreement with Indian Oil for Ganga,” the Union minister said.