By Aravind Bhatikar
THE BJP under Modi and Shah duo seem to have perfected the modus operandi of winning elections in the country. They manipulate the political, social and administrative environment in the country so well that they win the elections well before polling takes place. The growing doubts about the reliability of EVMs seem to be justified. The recent revelation that four BJP leaders have been appointed as directors of the public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd creates more suspicions about the EVMs. Bharat Electronics Limited is the manufacturer and distributor of EVMs. The public education program embarked on by Adv Bhanu Pratap Singh of the Supreme Court, to prove that EVMs can be manipulated, should be expanded to cover the whole country as soon as possible.
While the controversial reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s in 2013-2014 about corruption in the Congress government helped the BJP to grab power in the Lok Sabha Elections in 2014, the Pulwama terrorist attack and Balakot’s strike by the Indian Air Force helped the Modi-Shah duo to whip up nationalist sentiments and harness these to garner unprecedented votes in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Incidentally, none of the allegations of corruption reported by Vinod Rai, former Comptroller and Audior’s reports, were proved in any court of law and nobody seems to have been punished. Satyapal Malik, former governor of Jammu & Kashmir during the Pulwama terrorist strike, revealed in the recent past how Prime Minister Modi had asked him to maintain silence on the Pulwama issue. Satyapal Malik had in the meantime revealed to TV channels that the Pulwama attack could have been avoided if the Defence Ministry had granted the request of the CRPF for four aircrafts to airlift its men from the valley.
The Ayodhya Ram Mandir has been used by Narendra Modi with the help of the bought-over mainstream media to whip up religious fervour among Hindus to garner votes during the 2024 elections. Modi and Shah are aware, however, of the failure of communal frenzy that they tried to whip up in Karnataka, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh. They are aware of the dangers lurking before them in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and of course the whole of south.
They have stepped up their attacks against the Opposition leaders in these states either to force them to join the NDA or to exit from I.N.D.I.A. and fight elections on their own. Nitish Kumar of Bihar has proved to be an easy prey to Modi-Shah’s machinations. Nitish Kumar had initiated his efforts to bring together all opposition leaders in what would be later called I.N.D.I.A. The ED had reportedly started raiding offices and other premises of JDU leaders close to Nitish Kumar after the latter began his efforts to unite Opposition leaders. It is now believed that E.D. found some material in one of the premises of JDU leaders which could be very damaging to Nitish Kumar if revealed. That seizure is believed to be the final blow delivered by the Modi-Shah government on Nitish Kumar.
The widespread protests organized by some Hindu groups in the Mandya and Bengaluru districts of Karnataka could be a part of well-designed BJP strategy to polarize Karnataka voters before the elections. While permission was given by the authorities to hoist the national flag, a Hanuman flag was hoisted instead of the National Flag by someone in the crowd. Protests followed when the authorities removed the Hanuman flag.
Will India allow religious fanatics to win the 2024 elections?
THE Modi guarantee of fighting against corruption is as hollow as his other guarantees viz the guarantee of depositing Rs15 lakh in all bank accounts in the country and the guarantee of creating two crore jobs per year.
The Transparency International in its Corruption Perception Index report in 2023, has placed India 93rd among 180 countries. Countries ranked higher up in the list are perceived to have less corruption than those ranked lower.
Satyapal Malik, the former Governor of Goa, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya, had alleged in an interview to Karan Thapar sometime back that the BJP government in Goa is highly corrupt and that he had reported this to the Prime Minister Modi. Modi transferred Satyapal Malik overnight to Meghalaya.
On June 27, 2023 thumping his 56-inch chest Modi thundered his guarantee at a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh that punitive action would be taken against NCP which he held guilty of a Rs70,000 crore scam. He was obviously referring to Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbal and others who were already on the IT and ED radar. On July 1, which was a Sunday, Ajit Pawar was sworn in as Deputy CM, Praful Patel and Chhagan Bhujbal and a few others as ministers in the BJP government led by Eknath Shinde, a defector from Shiv Sena. The message to all Opposition parties has been clear for quite some time: “Either join BJP or be in jail!”
Nitish Kumar has again chosen to take shelter in the NDA. Hemant Soren, the brave former chief minister of Jharkhand chose to be in jail instead of being in the BJP.
In fact, the BJP governments in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are known to be highly corrupt. The Karnataka government is widely known as a 40% government and Madhya Pradesh a 50% government. While the Congress defeated the BJP by riding on an anti-corruption wave, its shocking defeat in the Madhya Pradesh elections has spawned a widespread demand for return to a paper ballot election, since EVMs are now known to be susceptible to manipulation.
Businessmen in BJP-ruled states admit in private conversation that BJP has made corruption in earlier Congress governments look like a child’s play. We should not be surprised if India is pushed further down the list in corruption index if Modi gets re-elected.
Should we not defeat this defiantly corrupt and impudent government? Why should the Modi-Shah duo succeed in their attempts to fool Indian voters into believing that unemployment, inflation, decreasing Indian private and foreign direct investments, falling rate of growth of GDP – all these don’t matter? As long as you believe in Bhagwan Sri Ram and the canard that it is Narendra Modi who has brought Bhagwan Shri Ram back to Ayodhya!