The proposed alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has been debated vigorously in the Urdu press.
Munsif in an editorial dated January 8, speaks of SP-BSP Unity and considers the Congress question. It says how “UP is decisive and if in the last general election too, had the BJP’s seats here had been halved, it would not have had a single-party majority”. But the editorial urges the Congress to not spoil the SP-BSP party and “put its ana or ego aside”. It writes that the Congress “must realise that the days of its electoral primacy are overdue its own mistakes and accept the new reality.”
Qaumi Tanzeem in its January 7 issue, has different views on the formula adopted. It questions why the Congress is being given just two seats. If past performance is the criterion, then why does the BSP want equal seats as the SP? “It had got zero in the last elections, so why 37-37 now”, it asks.
Siasat on the same day has a different proposition. In its editorial, it writes that “the bugle has been sounded for the upcoming elections with the SP-BSP alliance announcement”. The paper cites the victories in the bypolls in Gorukhpur and Phulpur recently as a tribute to the power of the alliance. But “if the Congress is included, it would push the BJP even further behind and enhanced their troubles,” according to the editorial.
Thus Spake PM
Munsif on January 3 comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent interview. “The prime minister has a wide-ranging take on all issues. The PM spoke on Rafale, triple talaq, the Ram mandir, lynching, gau-rakshaks and lawlessness,” but claims the editorial, “the replies were illogical unclear and mostly beat around the bush”. The paper laments that the PM was silent on minorities and could not explain his policy on triple talaq. He should be mindful that the BJP tried to play up the triple talaq issue in the run-up to the recent assembly elections, but lost badly. This makes it clear that triple talaq too was rejected as an issue. “In 2019, they must not risk it again.”
Siyasi Taqdeer on January 4 speaks of how “the PM in almost four-and-a-half years has given only five interviews and as far as a press conferences are concerned, he has not done even one. Even the most recent interview was to a select news agency.” The paper argues that it is clear from the questions asked that it was a “mansoobaband” or planned interview. “Why were there no questions on his failures” it asks. The editorial concludes that Modi has said similar things on mob lynching often before, on how it is not okay for any civilised society, but this has no effect on those who make provocative statements or go about attacking or killing people.
Siasat on January 5, in an editorial entitled ‘Modi and the Supreme Court’, makes a sharp observation. It argues that the PM saying that the ordinance will come after the court proceedings on the Ayodhya dispute are over, is an indication that “if the ruling favours the Babri Masjid, then the ordinance will be used to bypass it. It appears the government has made up its mind that if the verdict goes against the Hindu side, then it will go out and defy the order of the apex court.”
Sahara on January 9 in an editorial entitled ‘Hukumat ka eham qadam’ speaks of how a country must work towards the welfare of each citizen and, therefore, the reservation for the “general category” could perhaps be welcomed. The editorial is uneasy about this move being an electoral ruse by the Modi government but also takes a kind view of the policy as perhaps poor Muslims and Christians who come within the general category would be in the reservation net now.
On the same day, Etemaad (mouthpiece of the AIMIM) does not take a charitable view of the Quota Bill. It calls it a khel (game) just before elections. It says the policy was suddenly brought about in aanan-faanan (terrible hurry) as the BJP has lost the plot before the polls, having lost the five assembly elections held this winter.
Siasat speaks of the politics behind the reservation and Inquilab has questions on the ambit of reservations — reservation ki hikmat aur iska daayra.