When Food Turns Into A Weapon In Politics, Country Boils

DARA GOPI

Amaravati: The initiatives of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath closing down the meat shops and unauthorized slaughter houses, the statement of Bhupalapalli district Collector in Telangana State, A Murali asking people to eat meat have once again become strong weapons for politicians in the country. There is widespread resentment to the UP Chief Minister’s initiative from the non-vegetarians, while the vegetarians in the rest of the country point an accusing finger at Collector Murali. Though there is a widespread protest against his decision, a staunch Hindutva leader and a priest himself, Yogi Adityanath is sure of his initiative as he believes and practices vegetarianism that is part of his life. However, the Bhupalapalli district Collector might be forced to withdraw his statement, he had made it for the benefit of the people of the castes whose food has been non-vegetarian for generations.

For anyone, food is for survival. It depends on the weather conditions of the place and long history of the people living there. Some vegetarians find fault with the food habits of the non-vegetarians. Some non-vegetarians disapprove of eating snakes, frogs and alike. It all depends on how we take it. Life is a life for everything. Man has to kill something lest he gets killed. Be it an animal or a plant. If killing a life is wrong, it applies to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Be it roots or leaves, like animals and birds, they too have life and one has to kill them to cook and eat. If killing an animal or bird is not right on this land, killing a root or leaf is also crime for argument sake. But the issue here is not killing life, but it is all about sentimental politics. If MIM fights the poll battle on the basis of religion and the BSP on the basis of caste, the BJP had found the eating habits of the people as its base to fight the electoral battle. It is as simple as that to be very specific and clear in pointing at the controversies of the peoples’ food habits.

The food or diet is also part of the type of labour that a person is engaged in. Most of the people who are required to do the manual labour for their living have been eating non-vegetarian food as it is more nutritious containing proteins. The non-vegetarians claim that fish, meat, poultry and egg as rich food packed with proteins, while the vegetarians claim leaves, nuts and spices equally nutrient and protein.

Whether or not the food is nutritious, the issue of food habits contains more nutrients and is more nutritious for the political parties and those who ‘consume’ it for political mileage. It has all the nutrients and proteins to make it a powerful and strong weapon to fight the rivals. It also equally helps those in power to divert the attention of the people from the main issues of poverty, starvation and workers migration. That is what the politicians need and by blindly falling into the food trap of these politicians, like a rat walks into the trap, one will be only obliging them.

   

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Yogi Adityanath, Next CM Of UP, Swearing – On Sunday

Lucknow: After a dramatic turn out, UP newly elected MLAs of UP favoured Yogi Adityanath as next CM of Uttar Pradesh, closing down the curtains for a week suspense over party’s choice.

Soon after hearing the news, supporters of Adityanath chanted YOGI YOGI. The firebrand MP from Gorakhpur, was elected 6 times from the same place, will lead India’s largest state UP from Sunday.

Decision was taken after a long meeting at Lok Bhawan which witnessed Central  Minister Venkiah Naidu, National Party Secretary Bhupender Yadav, BJP Vice President Om Mathur, State Party Chief Keshav maurya and other senior leaders.

Adityanath is winning Gorakhpur seat from 1998, at the age 26, youngest MP in 12th Lok Sabha.

Earlier, Adityanath flew to New Delhi to meet Amit Shah. Adityanath, the firebrand Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, is one of the names doing the rounds as the 32nd Chief Minister of the State. The Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya is also in Delhi. Amid high drama, the BJP national president had announced the name of Adityanath as the BJP parliamentary party leader.

As both Adityanath and Maurya met Amit Shah, their supporters in Lucknow demonstrated in a show of strength, demanding their leader should be made the Chief Minister. The BJP delayed the announcement of the Chief Minister’s name until last minute and finally declared Adityanath’s name at 4.50 pm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, among others, will attend the oath ceremony. The 312 newly-elected BJP MLAs will meet in Lucknow later in the day at the Lok Bhawan – the new secretariat building built by outgoing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav – where the leader of the BJP legislature party will be elected officially.

Adityanath along with his Cabinet colleagues will sworn in at 2:15 pm on Sunday as per party sources.

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Rajnath Singh To Be UP CM For Second Time?

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has on Wednesday refused to comment on the rumours that he is going to Uttar Pradesh as its chief minister. When asked by media persons at Parliament House, the HM said he would not react to unnecessary and futile rumours.

But reliable sources say that Rajnath Singh is being seriously considered for the job of chief Minister. 325 newly elected members of the BJP and it’s allies would meet in Lucknow on Thursday to discuss about the top assignment. He was chief minister of UP earlier during 2002 elections. He is a Thakur and knows UP as back of his hand. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will be one of the two central observers.

Kesav Prasad Maurya, who belongs to Most Backward Castes (MBC) category had managed the campaign as the president of UP unit of the BJP, also is under consideration of the party top leadership. He happens to be a leader who rose from the RSS ranks. He is also a chaiwala, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sold tea in his younger days. Maurya is a Member of Parliament.

Minister of State for Railways and telecom Manoj Sinha is also being considered for the tough job. An MTech from Benares University, Sinha is a Bhumihar Brahmin who is considered to be a good administrator. He is popular in rural UP.

Another contender is Dinesh Sharma, Lucknow Mayor, who is unassuming and simple. He worked as a professor in Lucknow university and is considered to be a public intellectual. He is from an RSS family and close to both Modi and Amit Shaw.

Sidhartha Nath Singh, national secretary of the BJP is also in the reckoning. He is a grandson of late prime minister Lal Bahadur Sastry. He is a Kayastha, an intermediate community which is neither general caste nor BC. He was in charge of party affairs in West Bengal. He is an MLA.

The leadership has to keep in mind the great contribution from the MBCs to the resounding victory. Unless the prime minister is keen on sending Rajnath Singh to Lucknow, Maurya should stand a fairly good chance.

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Non-Yadav OBCs Hoist BJP In UP

(People’s Pulse)

The margin of landslide victory for BJP in UP has proven even the best of the pro-BJP electoral forecasts wrong and compounded by the 40 plus percentage of vote share that it got along with its allies demands unravelling of the prime determinants catapulting it to the corridors of power after one and a half decade. This exercise entails the employment of elimination process to discount the factors that, at the best, were not crucial in the making of the electoral outcome. On this parameter, four issues merit utmost attention, namely, demonetization, ‘development & Welfare’, leadership and candidate profile. Let’s take them one by one.

Demonetization

Contrary to the stated claim of the BJP, demonetization hasn’t been a positive factor in its impressive victory. In fact, as per the reports the party strategists were quite worried about its negative bearing so much so that one found a complete absence of the issue in all the speeches of Modi. Neither did, any of the leader’s statement or press release throughout the campaign mentioned the issue as a chief electoral plank. On the other hand the party was seriously worried about a probable negative reaction on account of its core voters hailing from, upper castes and Banias and send them feelers by promising agrarian and tax related dividends.

Development & Welfare

On this parameter, BJP simply failed to encircle Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party  as latter- a fact widely reported- was popularly perceived as having an edge in the state even by the core voters of BJP as well as BSP. The specific measures like starting of ambulance services for remote areas, special policies for girl child and female students, massive revamping of Rural Housing schemes like ‘Adarsh Loiya Gram Yojna’ along with focus on public transport and link roads were seemed to have an edge over rivals.

Leadership

The issue of leadership unequivocally went in favour of Akhilesh Yadav and his positive image became a worrying factor in the electoral strategy of both BJP as well as BSP. His extempore and witty speeches and a soft but deterministic image in the post-Samajvadi family feud were seemingly more popular than that of Modi and Mayavati. All the surveys and ratings gave him edge over his rivals throughout the election.

Candidate Profile

As usual, BJP faced the biggest challenge of rebel candidate factor on account of multiple aspirants along with its practice of declaring the final candidate in the last moment, unlike regional parties. The charges of fielding parachute candidate over the local ones have been a ticklish issue bothering the party both in Bihar as well as Uttar Pradesh.

The crucial question now meriting attention is why did BJP win such a landslide mandate despite being on the sticky wicket on the above-mentioned parameters?

The clue lies in unravelling the three dominant characteristics concerning the social base that the party focused meticulously. That the upper castes, who post-2002 had become swing voters, would consolidate behind the party after its capturing the ‘winnability quotient’ after 2014, needed no extra endeavor on part of BJP. In fact, after the ugly episode of BJP Rajput leader Dayashankar Singh’s remark upon Mayavti and the equally vulgar and abusive response by BSP leaders targeting his wife and daughter and BJP fielding his wife as a face to counter Mayavati over the issue helped upper castes further consolidate behind the party. Secondly, this election also witnessed the dilution of traditional Brahmin-Thakur electoral rivalry in favour of BJP. Also, the Banias, the core social base, despite being at the receiving end of demonetization, ended up voting for the BJP albeit reluctantly. Thus, BJP, barring few exceptions, got its 20 percent plus core voters (Upper Castes and Banias) intact despite not investing much.

Moreover, following the pattern of 2014 Lok Sabha election of employing calculated electoral sense on account of winnability  factor, BJP didn’t field a single Muslim candidate despite the community constituting more than 19% of the total electorate. A close analysis would also reveal that the party also didn’t invest much on Dalits, both Jatavs and Non- Jatavs, except for fielding non-Jatav candidates in constituencies reserved for them. In fact, BJP organized systematic rallies and meetings for OBCs, Youths, women as well as farmers except Dalits. Thus, BJP got upper caste consolidation behind it quite easily, didn’t invest much in Dalits and not at all in Muslims, leaving it to focus on the largely loose but the biggest social constituencies, namely, non-Yadav OBCs who according to various estimates constitutes around 35% of the states electorates.

One must take note  that even In the heydays of Mandal agitation in early 1990s, when the OBCs and Upper castes were at loggerheads, the leading and militant face of BJP’s Hindutva over Ram Temple issue, hailed from non-Yadav OBCs, like Kalyan Singh (Lodh), Vinay Katiyar (Kurmi), Uma Bharti (Lodh) etc. These non-Yadav OBCs suffer from a triple¬deprivation syndrome where they feel under-represented in OBC centric parties like Samajwadi Party and Dalit centric party like BSP, leading to develop a jealousy against Yadavs and contempt against Dalits, making them open to align with anyone who pampers them and make them feel represented.

The success of BJP in 2017 election, lies in tapping this social constituency of non-Yadav OBC quite meticulously. In fact, the party organized 200 “Pichhda Varga Sammelan” (OBC Conclaves), one for each two Assembly constituencies, targeting the non-Yadav OBCs throughout the state. This measure was followed by fielding them in significant numbers. Besides, the dominant image of SP as a pro-Yadav and pro-Muslim party and the same plank by BSP of exclusive focus on Muslims ended up alienating whatever the non-Yadav constituency from both SP and BSP, making BJP all the more appealing. Also, the desertion of veteran non-Yadav OBC leaders, like Swami Prasad Maurya etc. before the election took away the edge of BSP among them.

Thus, the triad of Upper castes, Banias and non-Yadav OBC, though failed to catapult BJP in Bihar due to their limited demographic numbers, the same clinched the deal for BJP in UP as the numbers were working in its favour despite facing the difficulties over issues discussed earlier.

1 Response

  1. Haarika says:

    Your analysis is completely wrong.BJP started planning for UP in 2014 itself.You know about pradhanmantri ujwala yojana.This is the one which changed everything.Again on demonitisation your analysis is completely wrong.If you see Modi speeches he mentioned about it in every speech.Akhilesh Yadav is only media hype.If you want people’s pulse you first comeout from your political preference then you can see the pulse of the people otherwise​ you have to to do these type of analysis after every election.

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Bap-Beta Drama Continues To Baffle UP Observers

Lucknow: Mulayam Singh Yadav, patriarch of Samajwadi Party, continues to sulk and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would not give up. Akhilesh continued with his efforts to mollify his father. There were two names as chiefs of the party till the other day at the party office. Now there is only one name as president, that of Akhilesh. Mulayam is elevated and named as mentor. The strange relationship between the father and the son continues to baffle UP observers.

Akhilesh has requested his father to sit with him while announcing a manifesto. But the father did not oblige. After the media conference was over, both Akhilesh   and his wife Dimple along with senior minister Azam Khan had met Mulayam and submitted the party’s election manifesto. Akhilesh has posted in his facebook a group photo showing Mulayam, Azam and himself along with Dimple. Mulayam and Akhilesh had a prolonged confrontation on the ownership of the party. The younger Mulayam had conclusively proved before the Election Commission that he commands an absolute majority in SP legislature party. The EC had ruled in favourer of Akhilesh giving him the name and election symbol of SP. This disarmed the senior Yadav and the famed pahelvan had been sulking ever since. The father and son never appeared together in public although they have been meeting in private. A week ago Mulayam had sent a list of about 35 aspirants recommending party tickets for them. Akhilesh did not accept some of the names. But Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam’s younger brother, who was largely responsible for the rift between the father and the son, was fielded from his old constituency.

Mulayam is a much mellowed senior leader who accepted the ground realities. He did not actively contest the claim made by his son before the EC. His close follower and advisor Amar Singh, who was opposed tooth and nail by Akhilesh, went abroad at a crucial time. Shivpal Yadav has been lying low. There are rumours that the whole drama was enacted by the father and son to weed out the criminals and the corrupt elements from the party so that it can be reorganised on the lines of the image enjoyed by the young chief minister. Akhilesh is seen as a dynamic, modern and development oriented leader.  Is the whole crisis was a creation by the Yadav family? The rumours can neither be confirmed nor denied in the absence any corroborative evidence.

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PM Modi may visit UP more often from October

New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi is expected to travel to Uttar Pradesh more often from October where the assembly polls are due next year, to boost BJP’s election campaign. Since April, PM Modi has travelled to Uttar Pradesh at least once a month on an average.

In this year’s Uttar Pradesh assembly polls BJP is banking on Modi’s popularity to win. Earlier, in 2014 general elections, BJP won 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats.

The party has not yet declared a candidate for the CM’s post. Finding a face for the CM’s post in Uttar Pradesh before the assembly polls has become a tricky affair for the BJP, which has several aspirants but only few having state appeal. Given the current circumstances, Modi is BJP’s best bet to bank on.

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Rahul Launches Kisan Yatra

  • To Walk For 27 Days
  • Congress Campaign in UP Begins

Deoria (Eastern UP): Rahul Gandhi, AICC Vice President, has begun the party’s poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh in right earnest on Tuesday with a farmers’ rally at Deoria. He embarked upon a 2,500 km-long Kisan Yatra and launched door to door campaign in Rudrapur in Eastern UP.

The 27-day Mahayatra started by Rahul with a calibrated speech that promised to fight for the farmers and mounting an attack on the prime minister. This is part of the ambitious plan prepared by election expert Prashant Kishore. By all means, the Kisan Yatra shows that the Congress party has taken itself very seriously and is bent upon improving its position in the most important State.

BJP has lost no time in running down the effort put in by the Gandhi scion. It said it would be Rahul Gandhi’s last show. The BJP said Rahul Gandhi has no credibility.

A formidable challenge is waiting for Rahul to pick up. The party at the ground level is disorganised and weak. In 2012, the congress, despite an aggressive campaign by Rahul, fared badly at the hustings bagging a mere 28 of the 493 seats in UP Assembly. It was slightly better than the performance of the party in 2007 when it picked up 22 seats. Congress president Sonia Gandhi attributed the poor show to a weak organisation and infighting among State level leaders. The organisational gaps are still gaping in the face of the leadership.

The Kisan March is likely to culminated in a massive rally either at Ghaziabad or Meerut. The foot march  undertaken by the leader is expected to infuse confidence to the  party worker who have to return to winning ways.

‘Cot’ in a wrong foot?

The idea of ‘Khat pe Charcha’ (debate over cots) at the farmers rally addressed by Rahul Gandhi ended in a chaos as the peopled quarrelled and scrambled over cots. They said ‘the meeting ended and let us take the cots’. With Rahul, the cots also have gone. BJP mocked at Rahul Gandhi calling the rally a flop show.

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‘Crime’ and mob punishment

Primepost News Desk

Rumours can be deadly. That’s how the gruesome murder of a villager in an Uttar Pradesh village could best be described. By now, the lynching of 58-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq by a frenzied mob over rumours of storing beef in his house was all over the national media. It was discussed at length on TV channels, with opposition political parties describing it as communalization of politics ahead of Bihar polls.

While the UP government has ordered a magisterial inquiry, what could be gathered from the media reports was the ghastly killing of Akhlaq and beating of his son on Monday night were the direct result of a rumour spread by some unidentified people. It was alleged that a message sent through social media and an announcement made from a local temple that a cow (some reports said calf) had been slaughtered and beef was kept in Akhlaq house had provoked villagers to attack his house. After ransacking it and beating his son, an IAF employee, the mob turned its anger on the 58-year-old.

Some had collected the meat for tests and given a few pieces to police to prove their point that it was beef. However, tests had shown that it was not. Some villagers alleged since the police had refused to register a case, some local youths had decided to ‘punish’ the man responsible for the ‘crime.’

Clearly, there is more than what meets the eye. Politics, religion and a holy cow are a potent mix to spark a communal conflagration. Whoever is behind the ghastly murder, their aim is sinister and should be condemned without hesitation and the culprits brought to book. But the local BJP leaders seem to think otherwise. When the nation was shocked, they appear to defend the ‘mob justice.’

For example, former BJP MLA from Dadri, Nawab Singh Nagar, said, when religious sentiments of people are hurt, they get agitated and this sudden anger leads to such incidents.” Another local BJP leader Shrichand Sharma has observed, “This was not a communal riot. The Hindu community worships cows. Whose blood won’t boil if they see cow slaughter?” Union Minister of State for Tourism Mahesh Sharma’s take on the killing was, “This should be considered as an accident without giving any communal colour to it.”

These were irresponsible and senseless statements made without ascertaining the facts. What they should have demanded was an impartial probe into the origin of rumour and who spread it and led the mob, not justifying the killing. Such utterances will only strengthen the allegations that BJP has a communal agenda.

The tragedy is, the senseless act of some hooligans has vitiated the communal harmony of the village so much that the Akhlaq family has decided to move out.

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