Tag: Lok Sabha Polls 2019

Mamata Banerjee running a government of gangsters?

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Mamata Banerjee (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

West Bengal has stood out as a sore thumb in this election season with increasing levels of violence as each phase went to the polls. And violence seemed to have touched a new high on May 14 when BJP president Amit Shah conducted a road show in Kolkata.

Earlier Shah and other BJP leaders denied permission for holding rally. Then, posters and banners of BJP leaders were seen being pulled down and packed off in municipality trucks ahead of the road show.

Alleged TMC supporters pelted stones on the convoy of Shah from inside the hostel of Vidyasagar College, triggering a clash with BJP supporters. Pitched battles erupted on the streets of Kolkata, and the BJP president was forced to cut short the road show. He was escorted to safety by police (central forces, Shah said).

Responding to the turn of events, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wondered “Has Bengal acquired a Government of Gangsters?” For outsiders these words seem an accurate description.

When the Election Commission announced (EC) 7-phase polling in the state, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had questioned the wisdom of EC. Now reports of intimidation, murder, grenade attacks, booth capturing, and so on, reportedly by the cadres of the ruling party, Trinamool Congress (TMC) in every single phase must have justified the decision.

Still, the EC may find difficulty claiming to have conducted a “free and fair” election in the state where intimidation of voters, violent attack on vehicles of non-TMC candidates and leaders, etc., have become a norm. At least 18 BJP workers and 1 TMC have been reportedly killed so far in poll-related violence in the state. It is said 11 BJP workers have been arrested but none from TMC is booked.

According to reports, there were 55 violent incidents during 6th phase alone. However, only 9 FIR have been filed.

Mamata Banerjee, who claims to be striving to “save democracy” from Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, is emerging incredibly dangerous to democracy. She openly claims she doesn’t accept an elected prime minister as “her” prime minister. Instead she calls Narendra Modi a goon. She wants to send him a mud rasgullas with stones inside so that they can break his teeth.

The chief minister calls central forces deployed in her state as RSS and BJP men, who have come to her state wearing uniform. (And she has written to the EC to withdraw the forces).

Her government arrests a young woman for sharing a meme on her and then fails to follow Supreme Court order. While Mamata Banerjee seems to be increasingly appearing as law unto herself, can she claim to be a saviour of democracy?

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Mani Shankar Aiyar does it again, calls his ‘Neech’ remark on Modi a prophecy

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Narendra Modi and Mani Shankar Aiyer (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons and flickr)

Days before the final phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, is going to the polls, veteran Congress leader and Gandhi family loyalist Mani Shankar Aiyar has called his “Neech” (vile person) comment on Modi a prophesy that has come to be true.

In an article in The Print web portal, published on May 13, Aiyar wrote “Modi will, in any case, be ousted by the people of India on 23 May. That would be a fitting end to the most foul-mouthed prime minister this country has seen or is likely to see. Remember how I described him on 7 December 2017? Was I not prophetic?”

The reference was to his remark made days before Gujarat Assembly polls when he said “Mujhko lagta hai ki ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, isme koi sabhyata nahi hai”, which can be roughly translated as “I feel that this man (PM Modi) is a very lowly and vile person. There is no decency in him.”

The Congress suspended him from the party, following the comment. Mani Shankar Aiyer, then blamed it on his poor Hindi. But the damage was done by then, as against all predictions, the party lost Gujarat polls to the BJP. And commentators attributed the loss to Aiyer’s “Neech” attack on Modi.

Ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha elections too, Aiyer sought to humiliate Narendra Modi, the BJP prime ministerial candidate, with a “Chaiwala” (tea seller) jibe, referring to the fact that Modi’s father had a tea stall where the son lent a helping hand often.

Aiyer had said: “I promise you that in this 21st century, Narendra Modi can never become the Prime Minister of India, never, never, never; if he wants, he can come and distribute tea at the meet here”.

The jibe proved a huge self goal as Narendra Modi used it to his advantage pointing at “the elitist mindset of Congress leaders against common people”, instantly striking a chord with voters in his campaign.

In November 2015, Aiyer was seen telling a Pakistani TV channel that Pakistan should remove Modi government and bring back Congress to power in order to improve ties between the two neighbors. Will poll results on May 23 fulfill the long-standing wish of Mani Shankar Aiyer or his “Neech prophecy” will turn out to be the third self goal? Just none days to go to see it.