General Elections 2019 – Day 35
Yogi Adityanath and Mayawati censured by EC; outrage over Azam Khan’s remarks
Every election has its lows in terms of political leaders making controversial, and sometimes, inappropriate remarks and the 2019 elections seem no different.
The stakes in these elections are high, and the outcome could well define India’s political path for a long time. In desperation to win over voters, political leaders have tried everything to take pot shots at the opposition, and some have even extended it to attempts at polarizing voters based on caste or religion.
The Election Commission has invited criticism from all political parties, political analysts and commentators, and also the public for not taking immediate and stringent action.
In recent news was Yogi Adityanath for his ‘Ali vs. Bajrangbali’ remarks; Mayawati seeking Muslim votes which seem to be polarizing; Maneka Gandhi for her veiled threats to Muslim voters have all come under EC scrutiny.
The Hindustan Times today confirmed the EC has responded, albeit mildly, censuring the Yogi Adityanath and suspending him from campaigning for the next 72 hours. Mayawati stands suspended for 48 hours, and action against Maneka Gandhi is expected anytime. Many have called the action inadequate, accusing the EC of being toothless.
The most controversial and possibly the lowest statement yet, came from Azam Khan, the SP leader from Rampur, U.P. In an obvious reference to his former SP party colleague and former actress, Jaya Prada, Azam Khan publicly spoke of the color of her innerwear.
It triggered a national outrage with people and political leaders taking to social media and other platforms to condemn Azam Khan. It was not the first time he has stands accused of such remarks. All eyes are now on the EC to see what action it takes against the controversial leader.
Amit Shah hits out at Rahul Gandhi and Azam Khan
Addressing a party rally at Kodinar in Gir Somnath district, BJP president Amit Shah criticized Rahul Gandhi for continuing to lie and mislead the people on the Rafale fighter jet purchase, reports the Time of India.
He also condemned Azam Khan’s controversial remark today asking him to apologize immediately. Amit Shah made a dig at the Congress on their objection to EVMs used in the polls saying the Congress had no problem with EVMs in M.P, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, states where they won the assembly elections but had a problem in states where they lost.
Focus and promises in BJP and Congress manifesto
Times of India has published a comparison of manifestos of BJP and the Congress which highlights interesting facts.
The BJP manifesto primarily focuses on infrastructure and development, the Congress on jobs and education. In terms of word count mentions per 10,000 words, the BJP manifesto has “infrastructure” mentioned 58.2535 times compared to 34.6711 mentions in the Congress manifesto.
The second most used term in the BJP manifesto is “Development” with 52.9577 times as compared to 12.5683 mentions in the Congress document.
In contrast, the Congress manifesto has “jobs” getting 31.6373 mentions while the BJP manifesto contains 10.062 mentions.
The second most used term in the Congress manifesto is “education” with 29.037 mentions. The BJP document finds 23.831 mentions.
Priyanka Gandhi continues to build upon her political presence
Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress election-in-charge of eastern U.P, is certainly garnering a lot of attention and affection in the areas she is visiting. She is fast emerging as a popular Congress mascot unleashed by the Congress a tad late in the day.
The debate around her entry into active politics has been around for years, but she has kept away from party pressures to take the plunge. 2019 may be a landmark year for the young leader as whispers abound of her possibly contesting against Narendra Modi for the Varanasi constituency.
Should she decide to throw her hat in the ring, irrespective of the outcome, she will emerge a stronger and popular leader from within the party, and may set her up for bigger goals in the years ahead.