According to the editorial in Organiser, from the Congress manifesto for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and the conduct of party’s top leadership both at the national and state level, the message clear — “confusion and hypocrisy”. The editorial claims that Rahul Gandhi does not miss a single opportunity to showcase his “Hindu credentials” and now the manifesto is talking about a ‘Spiritual Department”, various government agencies for the Narmada and Kshipra rivers and a tourism corridor of Ram Gaman Path. “Just a point of reminder, the same Congress Party-led Government at the Centre had given an affidavit in the Court denying the very existence of Sri Ram and Ram Setu. Ironically, all these issues have been raised by the RSS as the issues of decolonisation and nationalisation of cultural discourse, the organisation which Congress wants to finish,” the editorial claims.
Articles in both in Organiser and Panchjanya on the Chhattisgarh assembly polls say that despite attacks on security forces and even the use of IEDs to spread fear among the voters, the over 70 per cent turnout in the first phase of polls on November 12 in Bastar shows that the Naxals can no longer hold the populace at gunpoint.
According to the article in Organiser, the Maoists made every attempt to intimidate voters — from threatening them to attacking security personnel and even killing a journalist in Dantewada. “But no trick stopped [people] casting their vote on November 12.” It claims that the Naxals attempted to disturb polling in Bijapur and Sukma and paid a heavy price by losing cadres and exposing their anti-democracy and anti-development attitude. It adds that “18 constituencies in eight districts went to poll in first phase where the highest, 72 per cent, turnout was recorded in Khuiji, while the lowest (49 per cent) in Dantewada”. Experts, according to the article, say that this was likely the last bid by “red terrorists” to save their lost “bastion” as they carried out five attacks on security persons within 16 days killing 14 people. Seventy-two constituencies of the state went to the polls in the second phase on November 20.
Court for devotees?
The cover story in Organiser on the controversy over the entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala temple conjectures that the “devotees can hope for a pleasant verdict in January 22 when the Supreme Court has decided to hear the review petitions”. The article says that the Supreme Court admitted 49 review petitions.
“It was a rare occasion in the history of the Indian judiciary. The Supreme Court, under normal circumstances, does not admit review petitions concerning its verdict unless there is a specific reason like a factual error in the judgment or failure in considering some valid data, etc. No such reason is applicable here. Therefore, it looks like the devotees can hope for a pleasant verdict on January 22,” the article says. It claims that the latest SC order gives one an impression that the devotees’ stand is being considered by the apex court sympathetically. And, three writ petitions filed by the devotees will be considered along with the review petitions. The devotees are “all smiles” due to the positiveaction from the court. “Legal experts opine that now the Government of Kerala (GOK) should not venture into their efforts to bring young women of 10 to 50 to the temple; since the court has decided to hear the review petitions, any attempt to bring young women to the temple will be sub judice (sic). Therefore, they hope, GOK will not go for any game plan they played during the last two occasions, namely, Thulam pilgrimage and Chithira Atta Vishesham pilgrimage,” the article speculates.