Etmaad, the newspaper of Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslemeen, in its editorial on December 19, writes: “The winter session of Parliament became victim to low-level politics. Who was responsible for this logjam, the Opposition or the prime minister?… The people have been harassed by demonetisation. If the Opposition parties had not raised their voice in support of people’s interests, it would have left the people with no alternative except committing suicide. The prime minister, who has the status of the leader of the Lok Sabha, too lost his senses (hawaas kho baithe). He should have stayed in the House for some time and replied to the charges of members with clarity of thought and in an effective and convincing manner. On the contrary, he kept sitting (for a while) silently under the shadow of his party colleagues and did not think it worth his while to engage with the Opposition’s charges and instead let his ministerial colleagues do so. He did not show the capacity to control the disorder in the House. Thus, the PM himself is to blame for such a situation as he did not even consult his own colleagues.”
Inquilab, in its editorial on December 17, writes: “The winter session of Parliament ended while we all watched. All those vital questions that were raised on the floor of the House remain unanswered. The prime minister made many speeches outside Parliament but did not explain his actions inside Parliament. This proves, once again, that the government believes in a unilateral style of functioning that goes against a democratic system. The Opposition was not wrong in its allegation that this was the first time in the history of democratic India when the Opposition wanted discussion and debate but it was the government that was unwilling.”
Siasat, however, in its editorial on the same day, writes: “The unity that was forged among Opposition parties in Parliament got a rude shock on the last day of the session when the Congress, without any consultation with other parties, went and met the PM. This was at a time when a 16-party delegation was to meet the President to protest against the problems caused by demonetisation”.
UP or Down?
Commenting on the possibilities of pre-poll alliances in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on December 26, writes: “There has been speculation for quite some time of an alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal so that a government comprised of secular parties could be installed in UP once again. But Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress general secretary in charge of UP, described talks of an alliance with any party as rumours and said that Congress would contest the election on its own. But the Congress is not strong enough at present to be counted as a considerable political force in UP. It seems to be bargaining for a larger number of seats with the SP.”
Roznamma Khabrein, in its editorial on December 27, writes: “Despite Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s desire to contest the upcoming elections with the Congress with a target of winning 300 seats, Mulayam Singh Yadav is strongly against such an alliance because it would mean a loss of face for him. He has opposed aligning with the Congress since the founding of his party. This, despite the fact that large sections of both parties are in favour of an alliance in the hope of consolidating the Muslim vote in their favour in a situation where BSP supremo Mayawati hopes to come to power with a Dalit-Muslim cooperation.”
Munsif, in its editorial on December 20, writes: “Obviously, the BJP can clearly see the negative effects of demonetisation. This is the reason its leaders have decided to contest the election in UP with a communal campaign. Their plan is to create a polarisation of the electorate on communal lines and win Hindu votes in the state by raising communal passions. PM Modi’s silence on the communal venom being spread by BJP leaders against Muslims and attacks on them by Gau Rakshaks has exposed the hollowness of his slogan of sabka saath, sabka vikas. But the BJP leadership should not forget their defeats in Delhi and Bihar, where all their communal tactics failed.”
The ghastly situation in Syria has been a subject of much discussion. Jamaat-e-Islami’s biweekly, Daawat, in its front-page commentary on December 25, writes: “The horror of the situation in Aleppo is demonstrated by the statement of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He said ‘Aleppo has become hell’, and ‘we have failed the people there’. Among others. there has also been a statement by the outgoing US president, Barrack Obama, who, while mentioning the cruel massacre and barbarism in Syria, said that the responsibility lies with the Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad, Russia and Iran.
Thus, those who could intervene and establish peace are restricting themselves to condemnatory statements. Russia is doing in Syria what the US had done in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Siasat, in its editorial on December 18, writes: “How long President Assad, who used military power to oust the citizens of Aleppo from their homeland, will rule is not clear to even himself.”