View from the left: Communal agendahttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/view-from-the-left-communal-agenda/

View from the left: Communal agenda

“The recent speeches and utterances of the BJP/ RSS leaders are revealing the Hindu chauvinist and communal character of the campaign.”

COMMUNAL AGENDA

Claiming that the “duality in the BJP’s election campaign” was getting exposed, the CPM’s People’s Democracy has said that while the BJP talks of development and good governance, an “intense communal campaign”, specially concentrated in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, is “lurking beneath”.

“The recent speeches and utterances of the BJP/ RSS leaders are revealing the Hindu chauvinist and communal character of the campaign,” an editorial in the latest issue says, giving examples of controversial speeches made by BJP leader and candidate from Nawada in Bihar, Giriraj Singh, as well as BJP general secretary Amit Shah.

“Such hate speeches directed against the minority community and those who oppose the Hindutva agenda are part of the campaign being conducted by the entire RSS cadre who are out in the field to support the BJP’s election campaign. The RSS squads are moving house to house and distributing leaflets which are appealing to the Hindus to come out and vote 100 per cent to save the country from malicious enemies,” the editorial alleges.

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It claims the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, is “presiding over such a campaign, camouflaging it with talk of delivering all-round development and effective government.” The editorial concludes by saying that such instances are “not aberrations of some individuals”, but are instead “integral to the political platform of BJP and Narendra Modi.”

HIGH TURNOUT

The CPI’s New Age has emphasised that the credit for the heavy voter turnout in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls goes to the Election Commission, even as the media is using this to “substantiate their case of so-called Modi wave”. The editorial adds that yet another reason for the high turnout is the fact that, in most places, it is no longer a “straight contest” but a “multi-corner” one. It goes on to claim that this has “unnerved the BJP, particularly the Modi team”. It also accuses Modi’s team of “hastening the process of communal polarisation”.

“The revival of the communal agenda and the spats of vicious and provocative statements reflect the frustration of the Modi team after witnessing what more than half the electorate have decided up to the sixth phase of polling,” the editorial concludes.

MODI’S CAMPAIGN

Also taking on the BJP and Modi, the CPI(ML)’s ML Update has said “fomenting anti-Muslim hatred and suspicion” is an “essential part of Modi’s political strategy.”

“In Uttar Pradesh itself, Modi and his campaign managers are acutely aware that there is no Modi ‘tsunami’ yet. They are calculatedly aiming to attract Dalit and OBC voters to the BJP fold with — what else — the old RSS tactic of sowing hatred against Muslims,” the editorial says. Attacking yoga guru Baba Ramdev for his recent controversial remarks about Dalits and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, the editorial says, “Even as Modi seeks to woo Dalits, his camp follower the saffron-robed Ramdev let slip the real RSS contempt for Dalits”. The editorial says Modi’s campaign declares him PM even before the elections are over, but the Left will resist “every communal gambit, every false claim of ‘development’.”

Compiled by Ruhi Tewari