By Haider Abbas,Muslim Mirror,
The deplorable medical condition in UP and in the overall country was all in the making for the non-sensitive governments both led by BJP. As we sit in large cities, we do have access to social-media news and have a clue of ‘things-around’, but the condition is far more worse in small villages, qasbas and districts as people are dying in great large numbers for the new variant of COVID-19 has stuck India with a far more greater intensity. The media-houses and channels, with one or two objective exceptions, are still rallying to eulogise PM Narendra Modi and there is hardly a news anchor questioning as to why PM is getting his palace built for 13,500 Cr unstoppingly despite the havoc of death-toll rising. Quite understandably, the official machinery is hell-bent to falsify the death figures. In Kanpur (UP) for as many of 476 dead bodies in a single day the official figure showed up only 3 deaths.
Since I hail from UP I can assuage that had there was a non-BJP government in State or Center, hundreds of non-BJP offices were to have been burnt along with attacks on MLAs, MLCs and MPs, and media would have then called-for the ‘criminals sitting in government’ but today media is muted to even point a finger as to why BJP led governments should not be put into dock? Why did UP government organize Kumbh when now it is found that 99% returnees from Kumbh are Corona positive! The palpable atmosphere surrounding the country is so horrendous that Adar Poonawala, the owner of Serum Institute of India which makes the largest Covid-vaccine was afraid that his ‘head would be chopped-off’ if he spoke about Kumbh and the polls, organized by Election Commission, before he flew to England.
It would not be a euphemism that had EC, which warrants a separate book as to how it has bowed to BJP since precisely 2014, or otherwise it had always been known for its dubious-past, and not helped BJP in West Bengal, the tally of BJP was not to be more than 20. The average victory margin of BJP is 14,010 votes while TMC is 31,769 votes as TMC romped home with 213/294 seats under its charismatic leader Mamta Banerjee. TMC finished second in 75 seats while BJP won 74. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has been awarded a place in ‘Palacio Do Cabo’ as Governor to Goa on the same lines as CJI Ranjan Gogoi got his slice of pie in the form of Rajya Sabha for awarding the Babri Masjid site to the Hindus. Arora danced to the tunes of BJP to organize WB elections in eight phases while in Tamil Nadu, a state of almost an equal size, in a single day, as obviously BJP was not to win against the Dravidian parties. BJP is so brazen into bringing down constitutional institutions! Wasn’t it long enough when five SC judges, including Gogoi, cried for ‘democracy at stake’ in 2018 but Rahul Gandhi floundered the issue and could not make it a public-outcry and BJP, despite such an unprecedented event, cruised to victory in 2019.
BJP in WB an agenda of ‘Asol-Parivartan’! To quote Modi from his February 22, speech , ‘BJP ki sarkar, sirf satta mein, sirf satta mein ( twice) parivartan ke liyein nahi, balki Asol parivartan ( real-change) ke liyein banana hai, asol parivartan, balki yehan kamal khilana is liyein jaroori hai taki paschim Bengal ki istithi mein who asol parivartan aa sake jiski ummed mein aaj ka naujawan jee raha hai’ . Everyone knows what real-change (Modi was seeking it in context to corruption) meant as after all BJP has become so synonymous with the corrupts like Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Malya etc, who all could never have dared to leave the country (with billions) without the knowledge of BJP. WB accordingly therefore got a whiff of the incoming real-change when on April 10, Central Industrial Security Force, controlled by the C enter, gunned down four Muslim youths. All were TMC workers.
The Muslim presence broadly in WB is around 30% and the overwhelming majority of Muslims live in its six-districts which encompasses 118 of the overall 141 seats, out of 294, where Muslims exercise considerable influence. Interestingly these 118 seats cover around 61 % of Muslim population and also 40.13% of the total seats, writes Snigdhendu Bhattacharya in TheWire, and Muslims overwhelmingly voted for TMC, no wonder, due to it, tells TOI on May 3, that of the 141 seats 120 were bagged by TMC. TMC, therefore, was always to be comfortable for a plus 100 tally with Muslim support alone! Muslims voting en masse for TMC titled the fortunes for it. BJP which had bludgeoned its utmost resources, with its most virulent communal campaign, which is all what BJP can only offer, had to cut a sorry figure. With Muslims heavily tilted towards TMC as a foregone conclusion, it found Hindus, women, Leftists, communists, and fence-sitters to vote for TMC, thus, adding to the hat-trick of Mamta Banerjee as CM. 41 of the 42 Muslims fielded by TMC won.
The news back home, in UP, which is where BJP apparently seems most powerful, is also not very encouraging. Modi, who represents Benarus (Kashi) did not visit his constituency, but instead visited WB for 17 times between February-April, despite the merciless Corona-virus spread-out. This is for all to see as to where his priorities lie. The reflection of people’s mood can be ascertained as the results of UP Panchayat polls show a drubbing for BJP in Kashi too! BJP could win only 8 while SP won 24 seats out of 40 seats. In Mathura, another BJP stronghold BJP won 8/40 while BSP (12) and RLD (9) seats. In Ayodhya which is the stamp image of BJP it finished with 6 while SP won 24/40 seats. In my last visit to Benarus I asked someone if Modi has transformed the city into Singapore, he replied to not even Jaunpur.
The situation is UP is far more worse than Brazil. There is a public-outburst against the government, which is shifting the blame to ‘system’ while thousands of funeral-pyres are lit on footpaths, from Ghaziabad to Ghazipur, due to our almost fallen medical-infrastructure, and also where a word towards unavailability of oxygen may invite the seizure of your property!
Let’s see what happens in 2022 UP elections despite the wherewithal of the ultimate communal vehemence of BJP.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and a political analyst.