51637Ground for the mother of all electoral battle is set for now in Varanasi
- Mar 18, 2014Ground for the mother of all electoral battle is set for now in VaranasiThis was what the nation curiously waiting for. Though, some time back, Aravind Kejriwal made a hint that if N. Modi fight from Varanasi, UP, he would fight against Modi. But, that time, nobody took that seriously, as the prospect of N. Modi getting that seat from another senior most BJP leader and veteran Professor M.M. Joshi was remote. But, Modi, who take fancy in having his own way as he like, somehow or other, manipulated to shunt Joshi to distant Kanpur to get him Varanasi. When the hint of that came, Aravind Kejriwal was in Bangalore, Karnataka where in the last leg of his whirlwind visit pronounced that the AAP national leadership hinted nominating him against Modi in Varanasi and he accepted that challenge, provided he will visit Varanasi on 23rd March to address a rally and there, if the AAP grassroots cadres extend their wholehearted support, he would file his nomination.This was being debated threadbare in Media the other day whether Kejriwal took the challenge headlong or in case there was some change in the opinion of his grassroots cadres, he may reverse his decision, but all along the AAP party maintain that Kejriwal is the candidate against Modi in Varanasi. Soon, opinion came out from various other parties in U.P. that there should be a consensus candidate against Modi and nobody else is that but Kejriwal of AAP. Congress, SP & BSP are the other main players in U.P. Congress would put up a weak candidate. Undoubtedly, both SP and BSP too want to see defeat of Modi, looking to the current mood of the country where the BJP is creating much hype and euphoria to make Varanasi a launching pad for Modi to occupy Hastinapur.When Hindutva ideology was bolstered up in the 1990s, consequent to the infamous Somnath to Ayodhya Radh Yatra of BJP veteran L.K. Advani, Ayodhya, Kashi and Madhura were the three temple cities which the BJP wanted to snatch away from the Muslims presence there, as these are the holy cities of Hinduism. Even now, Varanasi has reportedly 40% Muslim population yet that famous temple city is quite most of the time, because of its traditionally long period of communal harmony and secular credential. When the Muslim community established the famous AMU (Aligarh Muslim University), Pundit Madan Mohan Malvya came up with the idea of establishing the BHU (Banaras Hindu University). Both of these have now gained the level of National Universities because of political patronage. Despite that, the communal harmony in these places, particularly in Banaras (Varanasi) remained intact. World famous musician/Shenai Maestro, Ustad Bismillah Khan was brought up in this poised temple surroundings of Varanasi. Till his last breath, he preferred to live there, even in the thick of much communal violence, including that of the 6th December 1992 Ayodhya Babri Masjid demolition drive and later the Gujarat 2002 pogrom when Muslims in U.P. were facing severe death threats from hard core Hindu fundamentalists. The last major riot took place in U.P. under the current S.P. rule of the younger Akhilesh Yadav, S/o of Mullah Mulayam Singh Yadav at Muzaffarnagar. Who created that unpleasant situation is still a mystery though MLAs from parties like S.P. BSP and BJP were suspected but no solid action was taken against any of them in the absence of a credible evidence. But, the riot happened only after the BJP made N. Modi’s right hand man Amit Shah as the in charge of general elections in U.P. is an undeniable fact. But, Amit Shah, famous for his crafty behind the scene works of troubles, most of which in Gujarat, when he was in charge of the Home Ministry under N. Modi but in none of these cases his direct involvement could be established and in case after case he got clean chite from lower and then from higher courts in Gujarat and in some case from the SC nominated SIT that even gave a clean chit to N. Modi which the Congress’ young scion, Rahul Gandhi is questioning now.Whatever that may, it is pretty clear that N. Modi will fight from Varanasi, considered to be a safe seat for him outside of Gujarat but what is most baffling is the question Kejriwal asked the other day: why should Modi fight from two seats, one in his home turf and the other safe seat in U.P., Varanasi? Kejriwal was throwing up a tricky challenge to Modi that if he is a real warrior, let him fight from Varanasi only and prove his worth. This was what many in the BJP too were saying when Modi was clamoring for safe seat. When the Media propagate that there was a strong Modi wave, then why not stand at Azamgarh, U.P. and fight the election. Smt. Sushma Swaraj asked it in the open when the strong bargaining was going on and the prolonged delay in coming out with the BJP’s U.P. list. Running away of BJP President Rajnath Singh from Gaziabad to Lucknow is another point. Further, on allocation of a seat to BJP’s tallest leader L.K. Advani, who insists to fight from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, his traditional seat, is yet another issue. BJP feels that in case Advani win and come to Lok Sabha, it would be an embarrassment for Modi to have his way as Advani would be a check and balance on whatever decision he takes. Moreover, if there is a situation that arise when some of the allies, who are yet unwilling to join the NDA under Modi, may even show inclination to join them in case the BJP give way to Advani instead of Modi. That is a possibility the Modi brigade fear much and therefore the Sangh supported BJP leaders want to see Advani either not to fight in the general election or allot him a seat somewhere else other than Gandhinagar.The plight of the Congress is nothing different. Most of the senior ministers in the UPA are unwilling to fight like P. Chidambaram from Shivganga, Manish Tiwari from Ludhiana and most others from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh because of sure defeat in the changed situation. But Rahul Gandhi is maintaining his stand consistently that the UPA would win more seats than they won in 2009 but the electoral arithmetic and some of the survey conducted by channels tells some different story. Of course, most of the channel predictions may prove false as they have predicted it much earlier and now the economic scenario, particularly the WPI (Wholesale Price Index) based inflation is an all time low that favors the ruling party. P. Chidambaram’s worry for Tamil Nadu is genuine as the Congress has to go it alone there when Amma is in full swing to sweep the sons troubled DMK where Stalin and Azhagiri, sons of M. Karunanidhi, are at loggerheads. It is a clear family feud, as in the case of the Maharashtra based Shiv Sena where Udhav Thakeray and Raj Thakeray are fighting against each other. The BJP is put in a difficult situation where the N.C.P. is taking advantage of that. But, the worry for the UPA is statements made by Supriya Sule, d/o senior NCP leader Sharad Pawar who gave a clean chit to N. Modi in the Gujarat pogrom which is doing more harm than good to the UPA. Pawar is keeping himself safe that he know with much less seat at his kitty, he won’t be a strong contender for the PM post any more. On the whole, election scenario will heat up once final date of nomination would be over and a clear picture of who is pitted against whom. But, Varanasi would prove the mother of all battle where two contenders for PM post – N. Modi and Aravind Kejriwal would lock horns. The nation, surely, watches it with much curiosity and would definitely like to see one to one discussion between Modi and Kejriwal to prove their real worth to hold that post.