General Elections 2014 – Day 14
Once again – Modi from Surat? Modi from Ahmedabad? Modi from Gandhinagar? Gandhinagar??? Veteran leader L.K. Advani would have collapsed if this had happened. First his dream of becoming the Prime Minister was stolen by Modi, now even his constituency! Thank God that did not happen and it will be Advani ji who would be contesting from that constituency. Some relief there for him. Phew!
This issue of Modi’s candidature has come up again because over six crore Gujaratis want Modi to contest from Gujarat. Did we just say six crore Gujaratis? But not one family for sure – the Jafris.
Challenging an Ahmedabad metropolitan court order that gave a clean chit to Modi, Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri has filed a petition. The petition demands Narendra Modi and five others to be accused on charges of criminal conspiracy behind Gujarat riots. In 2002, following the Godhra train attack, over 68 people, including Eshan Jafri, were killed by a mob. The petition alleged that the judge has not established the involvement of Modi.
While BJP takes a decision on Modi’s seat, someone else is keenly waiting – Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal. He had asked the people of Varanasi to tell him if he should contest from that constituency. Like we mentioned before, Kejriwal’s style of functioning is different. He thinks of devices which no one would even contemplate. How else can you explain this methodology behind seeking an opinion from the people of Varanasi? This has created a situation where people can say, ‘Chal, let’s ask Kejriwal to contest and see what happens.’ This simple thought process if multiplied can give BJP a hard run for its money.
Kejriwal has also declared that defeating Modi is his main target and people have already started rallying behind him shouting – “Abhi to Sheila hari hain, Modi teri bari hain.” If this cry gets louder, Modi will have to come up with some strategy that ensures he has the last laugh and not the last cry. Kejriwal’s rally in Varanasi on 23 March has been postponed to 25 March giving people two more days to take the decision.
In Uttar Pradesh, someone has already made arrangements in his own little way to take on Modi – Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. He is all set to contest from two seats in Uttar Pradesh – Mainpuri and Azamgarh. With this, the Samajwadi Party expects to lower the Modi tide in the state by targeting the Yadav and Muslim population.
Chandigarh seat is suddenly turning out to be interesting. When AAP pitched Gul Panag to contest from that constituency, BJP fielded veteran actor Kirron Kher against her. Congress later named Pawan Kumar Bansal who is mired in cash-for-post bribery scam. Two actors who are making their foray into the electoral arena and a veteran politician who has won the seat four times – who will win? Will it matter that today, when Kirron Kher reached Chandigarh to begin her campaigning, she was greeted with black flags and eggs? We don’t think so. This is politics and anything can happen.
Congress has released its third list but there has been no mention as to who would contest from Varanasi. The crucial decision is still mired in speculation. Veteran leader Kapil Sibal will contest from Chandni Chowk, Ajay Maken from New Delhi, Sandeep Dikshit from East Delhi and no, there has been no news about Commonwealth Games scam accused Suresh Kalmadi. Vishwajeet Kadam will contest from Pune now instead of Kalmadi. The list has names for Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Goa, and Rajasthan. Former chief minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi will contest from Mahasamund, cricketer-turned – politician Mohammad Azharuddin will contest from Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan and Sachin Pilot from Ajmer.
This ticket distribution is leading to lot of infighting within families. The latest being – Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s niece, Medhavi Kirti, deciding to contest against her in Sasaram on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket.
In all these, the people are keeping Election Commission (EC) busy. Congress MP Naveen Jindal has lodged a complaint against two news channels. He alleged that the channels were broadcasting false, defamatory and misleading news items against him and his company.
While people are busy lodging complaints, Union Minister Salman Khurshid has caught onto one issue which he has no intention of letting go – his displeasure at the Model Code of Conduct set by the EC for the forthcoming elections. Let us remind you here that he has been continuing his tirade despite being slammed by the Opposition and others. He says the Code of Conduct is causing lot of inconvenience to the people. Come on Mr Khurshid, we Indians are known to live with bigger problems – yeh Code of Conduct kya chees hai?
There was much noise on social media today. Trending on Twitter was “Modi is a distrustful person.” This trend got triggered because of a US consulate cable that was circulated by whistleblower Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. It described Modi as an “insular and distrustful person”. However, later it tweeted a clarification saying no WikiLeaks document said Modi is ‘incorruptable.’ Rather, he is popular because he is ‘viewed’ as ‘incorruptable.’ Why this clarification, when there already has been an accusation?
A huge fan of Modi apparently hacked a Gujarat government-backed website. The hacker posted pictures of Modi on the home page saying – U r next PM. You hack, you post and you believe it will happen. Wish things were this easy, Mr Hacker.
In all these activities to the run up to the election, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is quietly brewing up his retirement plans. Clearly enchanted by the natural beauty of Arunachal Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi, at a rally, said he would love to settle here after retirement. He also referred to the immense potential in horticulture, tourism, and hydro-power sectors in the state and urged people to focus on them. Retracing his earlier statement, he reiterated, “ I have never seen such a beautiful place anywhere in the country and am willing to spend some more days just to enjoy the beauty.” Is this his first visit to the state?
Meanwhile, Congress continues to bleed in Seemandhra with most of the leaders crossing over to join the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Ooooppppsss! did Congress actually commit a mistake by giving Telanga the statehood status? How many crossovers, how many calculations and miscalculations, how many controversies, ….all this and more as we follow the craziness associated with General Elections 2014.
Do stay tuned with us.