Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: India

Gandhinagar

BJP’s first list of 184 Lok Sabha candidates is out. This time Amit Shah is the candidate from Gandhinagar.
Lal Krishna Advani has represented Gandhinagar six times from 1991 onwards. Denying him ticket this time means practically end of the road for his political career. In 2014 Rajnath Singh was BJP President and Narendra Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate was not in a position to deprive Advani of ticket. After Rajnath Singh became Home Minister and quit as BJP President, Amit Shah became BJP President and Modi’s hold on BJP was complete except for RSS influence. BJP Parliamentary Board was reconstituted and seniors like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were put in Margdarshak Mandal. Modi did not want Advani in any important position and Speaker’s post went to Sumitra Mahajan.
In 1991 Advani had first filed his papers from New Delhi. Congress fielded Rajesh Khanna against him. Then Advani contested from Gandhinagar also. Advani won both seats and resigned New Delhi seat.
There is picture of Advani filing 1991 nomination papers from Gandhinagar. Modi is sitting next to him and helping him. Amit Shah is one of many people standing behind.
It is said BJP’s Gujarat unit did not send any name for Gandhinagar. They wanted Modi or Shah to contest from Gandhinagar. Last time Modi had contested from Baroda and Varanasi. He won both seats and gave up Baroda.
This is not the last word on Advani. He had his chance in 2009. He failed. The possibility of his becoming Prime Minister is remote but can not be ruled out. In 1991 P. V. Narasimha Rao was to retire from his political career. Suddenly he became Congress President and Prime Minister.

Coalitions 2019

It is time for Lok Sabha elections.
NDA and UPA are major coalitions. BJP leads NDA. Congress leads UPA.
BJP has ADMK, Apna Dal, SAD, Shiv Sena and some other parties as allies. AGP had quit NDA two months back on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Now it has some understanding with BJP and back in NDA.
Congress has DMK, JD(S), NCP, RJD and some other parties as allies. M. K. Stalin wants Rahul Gandhi as PM.
BJD and TRS are not part of any coalition. KCR hopes to become PM with support of non-Congress and non-BJP parties.
It is AAP vs BJP vs Congress in Delhi. Congress did not want coalition with AAP. Arvind Kejriwal now says AAP will win all seven seats in Delhi and wants alliance with Congress in Haryana. Congress is unlikely to oblige.
In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee declared candidates for all 42 constituencies. No coalition with Congress. Mamata has prime ministerial ambitions. According to her criteria, among non-NDA politicians only she and Naveen Patnaik are qualified to become PM. Her hope is to become PM with support of Congress and other parties.
BSP and SP are in alliance in UP. Mayawati says BSP will not have an alliance with Congress in any state.
Sharad Pawar said BJP might emerge single largest party but they will fall way short of majority. They will need other parties to form government. Modi will not be PM.
Time for MPs to switch parties. Kirti Azad quit BJP and joined Congress. His father Bhagwat Jha Azad was in Congress and was CM of Bihar.
Savitribai Phule quit BJP. She accused it of dividing society and ignoring the rights of Dalits and backwards. She joined Congress.
Shatrughan Sinha says he will contest from Patna Sahib. Not sure whether as Congress or RJD candidate. May also contest as independent.
Navjot Singh Sidhu upset at not being asked to speak at Rahul Gandhi’s rally at Amritsar. He does not want to campaign. If he is not good enough to speak, he is not good enough to campaign.
In 2014, 12 May was the last day of voting and 16 May was the day of counting. This time 19 May is the last day of voting and 23 May is the day of counting. Narendra Modi had taken oath as PM on 26 May 2014.
Election in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May is a long time. In most countries voting is on a single day and counting begins after voting is over. India used to have election in two phases. Mamata Banerjee is not happy that West Bengal has 7-phase election. Some say Election Commission decided on election dates as per Modi’s tour programme. Election should be on a single day.

One Election for India

War with Pakistan

War with Pakistan is possible. After Pulwama terrorist attack where 40 or more CRPF jawans died there was demand for action against Pakistan. On 26/2/2019 around 3.30 a.m. Indian Air Force planes entered Pakistan and bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed camp at Balakot. On 27/2/2019 Pakistan attacked India. In the fight that followed India downed one F-16. One Indian plane was damaged. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman ejected and landed on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and is a Prisoner of War.
India claimed Balakot raid was non-military and pre-emptive. Pakistan claimed its action was not retaliation but demonstration of what they are capable of.
There was one video in circulation which Pakistanis claimed was of Indian pilot caught by them. That was soon proved to be fake because one person spoke Kannada. It was of Surya Kiran crash in Bangalore.
There was #JaisheSagarika trending on Twitter attacking Sagarika Ghose. Anti-Modi journalists were targets of pro-Modi people.
Journalists wanted to interview Abhinandan’s father retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman. He refused. His colony’s gates were closed. Later he issued a message thanking friends and God and expressed hope that Abhinandan returns safe and sound.
There was trending of #Abhinandan, #BringBackAbhinandan, #GiveBackAbhinandan #AbhinandanMyHero and #WingCommanderAbhinandan.
Some tweeted #SayNoToWar. For some time there was #SayYesToWar.
Some countries expressed concern about India and Pakistan bombings and advised de-escalation and restraint. It is strange for USA, UK and France to advise de-escalation. These countries pick up wars with far off countries that have done them no harm. They destroyed Libya. They attacked Syria which survived because of Russian help. They supply arms to Saudi Arabia and UAE to devastate Yemen. USA wants to attack Venezuela to depose Nicolas Maduro.

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