Presidential Pollhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/presidential-poll/

Presidential Poll

While RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently backed A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s candidature for the post of president

PRESIDENTIAL POLL

While RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently backed A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s candidature for the post of president,the Sangh Parivar’s journals have given little importance to the presidential elections while the BJP-led NDA remains divided on its next course of action.

The RSS weekly Panchjanya used the presidential elections as a backdrop to attack the Congress president. The Organiser gave prominence to an article criticising Sonia Gandhi,the “Congress high command”. Incidentally,both pieces made personal attacks against Gandhi.

While the Organiser,in an article titled ‘UPA and unmitigated disaster for India: undermining India,Sonia style’,attacked Sonia Gandhi,a Panchjanya editorial — ‘Rahul Gandhi ke liye bichhayi Sonia ne bisat’ (Sonia sets the chess board for Rahul Gandhi) — contended that Kalam’s role in spiking her alleged “prime ministerial ambitions” after the 2004 Lok Sabha elections still “rankles” Gandhi,which is why she wants a president who will “set aside all democratic norms” to facilitate her son Rahul Gandhi’s “coronation” after a fractured verdict in 2014.

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While the Panchjanya editorial was written when the UPA meeting to decide upon Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature was still happening,the editorial highlights the crucial role of the next president in the formation of next government after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Kashmir and quotas

Even in the midst of the tussle over the presidential election,the Sangh Parivar weeklies have written about the minority sub-quota and the interlocutor’s report on Jammu and Kashmir,indicating their fierce opposition to both. The Panchjanya has a front page article regarding the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Andhra high court’s verdict striking down the 4.5 per cent minority sub-quota. Calling the SC’s refusal a “slap” on the face of the government,the article reports that VHP leader Praveen Togadia demanded that the government tender an apology for instituting a sub-quota in the name of religion. The Organiser also prominently displayed Togadia’s demand in its latest issue.

The Organiser also reported RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s assertion that the interlocutor’s report on J&K “spoke the language of the anti-national elements active in Kashmir for decades”.

ON THE RADAR

Barely three months into his tenure as the youngest chief minister of the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh,Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh Yadav appears to have attracted the attention of the Sangh Parivar.

A special report in the Organiser has faulted Akhilesh for his alleged “overdrive on (the) communal agenda”. The article cites two of Akhilesh’s moves — hosting a dinner for Imam-e-Haram Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali al Ghamdi of the Ka’aba and his decision to seek a fresh report on the accused in the Lucknow and Faizabad court blasts in 2007 — as major developments that have reinforced the Sangh Parivar’s assessment of his supposedly communal agenda.

Compiled by Ravish Tiwari

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