An article in Organiser claims that Manik Sarkar, former chief minister of Tripura, who was branded as the “poorest” CM lost that identity after the BJP’s victory in the state on March 3. “Now, Mamata (Banerjee), who is in the field with another adjective, ‘Hawai Chappal’ Chief Minister, is shivering with fear as she is apprehending to lose this prefix (chief minister) as well,” asserts the article. The article further claims that after the Tripura verdict, she was shocked and started abusing one and all in the BJP. Even Narendra Modi was not spared. “It is useless to quote those unparliamentarily languages (sic). But, it was apparent that she was very much perturbed with the result of Tripura. She told a member of state assembly that ‘she would have been happy if CPM could win the election.’ People may ask, under this situation, whether she is maintaining her mental balance or not,” according to the article. It also claims that Banerjee knew well in advance of the imminent end of Left rule in Tripura. “So, she suggested that the Congress should come into an understanding with CPM. But Rahul Gandhi did not agree. She said it was but natural that Rahul Gandhi’s party was decimated to a big zero,” according to the article. While Banerjee was one of the few to bring the fight to the BJP during the Modi wave in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, and she did take on the BJP on the one hand and Congress-CPM on the other in the 2016 assembly polls, her next test will be the Bengal Panchayat polls. The article points out that in all the elections held in Bengal since 2011, the BJP has improved its vote share at the cost of the Left.
The editorial in Organiser is about the BJP’s performance in the recent assembly elections in the Northeastern states.It says that the outcome of elections and the BJP’s stupendous victory can be analysed in many ways but what is pertinent is the changing narrative about the Northeast and how the integrationist approach can be strengthened. “Of course, the Tripura election results have a different significance in the larger ideological fight between the nationalists who believe that Bharat has always been an integral nation and the Communists who carry forward the British narrative of different nationalities in Bharat. After keeping the States under tight grip with politicised governing machinery, that sense of liberation is evident with the consolidation of non-CPM votes, including those of Vanvasis in favour of the BJP. Mere showcasing poverty and managing elections with cadre base is not going to work any longer is the clear message of the Tripura elections,” reads the editorial. Of the other states, the editorial says that the results of Nagaland and Meghalaya are all the more significant because of the kind of campaign that took place during electioneering. “Despite the decisive intervention by organised religious groups not to favour the BJP, people went ahead and showed remarkable support to the nationalist narrative. It is a very positive message. When we saw the unprecedented coverage of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland elections at national level, these States gained equal respect and space in the larger national narrative. This was a positive message for the people of Northeast,” according to the editorial.
Betrayals in UP
An article in Panchjanya targets the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for joining hands in the by-polls of two Lok Sabha constituencies— Gorakhpur and Phulpur — the results of which will be declared on Wednesday. The article argues that the tie-up exposes the greed of the two parties for power. It also says that the SP’s move shows Akhilesh Yadav’s disrespect for his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and that BSP chief Mayawati forgot the 23-year rivalry with the SP after she sensed a threat to her brand of “Dalit politics”. The article claims that Mulayam Singh had strengthened the SP while fighting the Congress. But Akhilesh, after taking charge of the party last year, had forged an alliance with the Congress for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and faced defeat. It conjectures that Mulayam remained upset with the Congress because he could not become prime minister because of the grand old party and Mayawati had a political rivalry with the SP dating back to 1995, when she withdrew support from the UP government and SP workers had allegedly attacked her at a guest house in Lucknow. “To get power, Akhilesh is ready to join hands with enemies of his father and Mayawati is ready to forget that incident of attack on her. SP’s alliance with Congress is on the verge of ending. The BSP has contested elections in the past in alliance with the SP and the Congress but these alliances have not been in effect for a long time. Now, the duration of SP-BSP tie-up has to be seen.”