View from the Left: Delhi verdicthttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/view-from-the-left-delhi-verdict/

View from the Left: Delhi verdict

The election debacle has now forced the BJP leaders to say that the Delhi result is not a referendum on the Modi government at the Centre.

Discussing the Delhi assembly poll result, the CPM’s People’s Democracy has claimed the Delhi electorate has “busted the myth of ‘Modi invincibility’” in a resounding manner. “The hype of the RSS/BJP campaign, with the pumping in of thousands of crores in its advertising campaigns alone, projected that the people of Delhi will repose their faith in a ‘Modi government’… The election debacle has now forced the BJP leaders to say that the Delhi result is not a referendum on the Modi government at the Centre,” an editorial states.

“The virtual sweep that the AAP recorded places on it a greater responsibility to deliver. Given the limited status of Delhi statehood, many of its promises face difficulties to be realised… The BJP government at the Centre will be like an impenetrable wall that cannot be breached given the current legal status of the Delhi assembly. Only time will tell how the AAP government will be able to enlist the Central government’s cooperation on all these matters,” it adds.

It holds that there was a “visibly strong Modi anti-incumbency sentiment” in Delhi, which “relates to the virtual non-delivery on any of the high-sounding promises that the RSS/BJP made during the election campaign”. The editorial states: “The ‘Modi magic’ seems to be waning a little too fast…  Post parliamentary elections, the development illusions are fast vanishing and the campaigns for ghar wapsi, love jihad, rewriting Indian history, parading mythology as history, etc have exposed their real agenda”. It concludes: “The RSS/BJP’s call for a debate on secularism, therefore, is part of its… design to metamorphose the secular democratic Indian republic into a rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu Rashtra’… this must not be allowed”.

Race and violence

The CPI(ML)’s ML Update argued that “the murder of three young Muslims in the US, followed by the brutal violence by US police on an aged Indian man, Sureshbhai Patel, have once again shone the spotlight on deeply entrenched Islamophobia and racism in the US”.

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“It would be a mistake to assume that the police behaviour against Sureshbhai Patel was an aberration. The attack on Sureshbhai is part of a pattern of similar incidents involving police high-handedness and killings of black and Latino people in the US,” it adds. “At the same time, our outrage over the prejudice and violence meted out to Sureshbhai Patel in the US must also serve to make us introspect about xenophobia and anti-black racism in India… Communal hatred and violence, at the hands of Hindu majoritarian groups as well as by police, against religious minorities in India has been systematic and state-sponsored,” it points out.

BJP’s loss
In an editorial, the CPI’s New Age argues that the Delhi results are a “total rejection of what the Narendra Modi government has been doing”, with the “residents of the national capital… bluntly [telling] the rulers that in the first nine months, you have only delivered to corporate and foreign investors and did not bother to even remember all the tall promises you made on price rise, black money and corruption”.

“Apart from  the ‘achievements’ of the Modi sarkar, another important plank of the BJP campaign was to hasten the process of communal polarisation… People are fed up with false promises… This is the time for the Left, which has a clear vision of the economic situation,” it opines.