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Why the BJP is (over)confident that it will win in UP

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A blinkered view gives a pretty picture where the party accesses large sections except Muslims

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A blinkered view gives a pretty picture where the party accesses large sections save Muslims

By Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

There is little doubt that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is emotionally, ideologically and politically invested in Uttar Pradesh. The most populous state is at the heart of the Hindu heartland. BJP does not fight shy of the fact that it is a Hindi heartland party. As a matter of fact it wants to flaunt it even.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set his heart on UP from 2013 onwards when he was declared the prime ministerial candidate of the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. First, he chose to contest from Varanasi, with its unmistakable Hindu connection. Then he deputed Amit Shah, his Gujarat confidante to focus on UP in 2014. The strategy seemed to have paid off. The BJP won 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It was natural that Shah was credited with the success of the BJP juggernaut in UP, and he was rewarded by making him the president of the party.

Now, both Modi and Shah want to prove that they have grown roots in UP. As one of Modi’s cabinet ministers said on condition of anonymity, “We (the BJP) want to prove that 2014 Lok Sabha election was no fluke.” So, Modi, Shah and the rest in the party are sparing no effort to win in the state. Shah’s constituency by constituency, booth by booth – BJP leaders lay much store by their booth management skills – approach which paid dividends in  2014 is ostensibly replicated this time round. And it is believed that it will work a second time round. What the BJP fails to understand is that it is not the thoroughness of the preparation alone that matters, and that it depends on more than anything else it depends on the preference of the people as such.

Apart from the desire and determination to win UP, the BJP strategists also seem to believe that they have been dealt a winning hand as it were when the electoral cards were shuffled. They think that the political appeal of Samajwadi Party (SP) is confined to its core constituency of Yadavs and not to the whole spectrum of the backward classes/castes, and that of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to Jatavs and not to Dalits in general. Another Union minister, who gives the spin to the BJP thesis, says that half of the Muslim vote would go to the SP, and the other half to BSP.

In contrast, the minister arguing the case of electoral prospects of the party said that the upper castes are with the BJP, and so are the various segments of the other backward classes/castes and the remaining Dalits, the Valmikis. Of course, it is a big presumption. Even if it is assumed that many of backward class segments would not go with the SP, and therefore could vote for BJP because Congress, the other big national party in the fray in the state, is not a big players anymore and it has reduced itself to the status of a junior alliance partner to SP, the big local players. There is also the possibility that the BJP would want to choose a candidate from one of the non-Yadav backward classes as a chief ministerial candidate. But rivalries between the many non-Yadav backward classes/castes are conveniently ignored by the BJP spinmeisters. It is also not clear as to why the non-Jatav Dalits, the Valmikis, should choose BJP because they have not much to gain from the bargain. The BJP will not be able to please them all with the temptation of office.

What is interesting in the BJP is argument is that there is ideological thrust to the campaign though there is a subtle and not-so-subtle Hindutva or Hindu communalism at play here. The BJP is reconciled to the fact that Muslims will not vote for it, and so it does not factor in Muslims in its caste/community electoral calculus. If the BJP leaders are embarrassed about it, they do not show it. But they are displaying hard-nosed political realism by not counting on Muslims, but they are overstating their case by assuming that the Muslim would split, almost in half between the SP and BSP.

The other big assumption of the BJP, and even that of the pollsters, is that it is not a three-cornered contest where SP-Congress, BSP and BJP are all equal contenders and that that the vote would split three-ways. The complexity is simplified by reducing BSP into a distant third, and that it is essentially a contest between SP-Congress on the one hand and the BJP on the other. It is not even being contended that it could be a battle between BJP and BSP. This is a grudging recognition by the BJP that Akhilesh Yadav has clawed his way back into the contest.

Though there are some who are arguing that the BSP is the silent player which would steal the show on Saturday, there seems to be no reliable or tangible proof that the BSP outreach to the other castes and communities is gaining traction or not. This does not mean that BSP has failed to reach out beyond its core constituency. It just means that the pollsters have failed to detect it. Even the ardent supporters of BSP in media have not argued convincingly enough that a significant number of Muslims and Brahmins have been won over by party of Dalits. There is of course the plausible inference that Muslims are not too happy with SP post-Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.

There are enough chinks in the constructed political armour of the BJP, which could turn out to be a sour point on Saturday.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

India issues advisory to nationals in Bangladesh amid job quota violence

Contact Numbers :
@ihcdhaka

+880-1937400591 (also on WhatsApp)

@ahcichittagong

+880-1814654797 / +880-1814654799 (also on WhatsApp)

@IRajshahi

+880-1788148696 (also on WhatsApp)

@ahcisylhet

+880-1313076411 (also on WhatsApp)

@ahcikhulna

+880-1812817799 (also on WhatsApp)

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On Thursday, India issued a caution advisory for its citizens and students in Bangladesh urging them to minimize their movement outside their residences amid escalating disturbance related to the proposed change in job quotas.

Sharing an advisory, the High Commission urged the Indian community members and the Indian students residing in Bangladesh to avoid travel and minimize their movement outside their living premises. In case of any urgency or case for assistance, please reach out to the High Commission and Indian Assistance High Commissions on the following numbers, the advisory added.

Contact Numbers :

@ihcdhaka +880-1937400591 (also on WhatsApp)

@ahcichittagong +880-1814654797 / +880-1814654799 (also on WhatsApp)

@IRajshahi +880-1788148696 (also on WhatsApp)

@ahcisylhet +880-1313076411 (also on WhatsApp)

@ahcikhulna +880-1812817799 (also on WhatsApp)

According to reports, the situation got worse, following the widespread clashes across the country,  after the deaths of six individuals, including four students and 100 others got injured in the demonstration.

In an ongoing situation in Bangladesh, the Indian community has been given instructions to avoid unnecessary travel and minimize their outside movement. Emergency contact numbers were provided for help from the High Commission and Assistant High Commissions.

Further, it was stated that on Wednesday, the unrest arose from protests initiated by students seeking reforms to change the quota system of government job allotment. These demonstrations peaked in a nationwide shutdown on July 18 in response to the actions of the security forces.

Asif Mahmud, a well-known figure in the movement, communicated plans for a global shutdown of all non-essential services, except critical institutions such as hospitals and some emergency services, which will remain closed and only ambulance services will be permitted. The movement called upon students from various educational institutions to participate actively and called on guardians to support their cause in a newspaper.

In response to the escalating tensions, security measures were enhanced with the deployment of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) troops in significant cities and the increased presence of police forces on university campuses.

This deployment was aimed at maintaining order and ensuring the safety of citizens amidst the volatile situation. The advisory emphasizes the importance of caution and availability among Indian nationals in Bangladesh to provide support and guidance while emphasizing the gravity of the ongoing unrest and its potential implications.

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India News

Karnataka Govt halts private jobs quota-for-locals Bill amidst criticism

The State Cabinet had on July 15 approved the Bill that gives reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.   

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The Karnataka government has paused a Bill that mandate job reservation for locals in the private sector amid criticism from the business community. The State Cabinet had on July 15 approved the Bill that gives reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.   

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, taking to X, has said that the government will have a relook at the bill before it is tabled in the state Assembly. He said the draft bill intended to provide reservations for Kannadigas in private sector companies, industries, and enterprises is still in the preparation stage. A comprehensive discussion will be held in the next cabinet meeting to make a final decision, he emphasised.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet meeting has approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

The post further read, “It is our government’s wish that the Kannadigas should avoid being deprived of jobs in the land of Kannada and should be given an opportunity to build a comfortable life in the motherland.” He said that his government is a pro-Kannada government and their priority is to look after the welfare of Kannadigas.

After criticism from the industry, the Karnataka CM deleted the post and then shared another post in Kannada that talks about giving reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.

Speaking to the media, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government is trying to introduce a law to give preference to locally available skills. He added that at the management level, it has been decided to provide reservations to 50% of the people.

At the non-management level, it has been decided to provide work to 70%, he said. If a particular skill is not available, people can be outsourced and they can be given work here. But the Government is trying to bring in a law to give preference to locally available skills, the minister further added.

In response to the government’s announcement about the passage of the Bill, industry leaders and unions voiced concerns that it would impede industry growth by pushing away skilled workers not protected by the quota. Nasscom, the apex body for the technology industry in India, stated that the Bill was “deeply disturbing”.

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India News

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah deletes post on reservation for Kannadigas in private sector after backlash from business community

the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday deleted his social media post on the reservation Bill, which reserves seats in groups C and D for Kannadigas only in the private sector, after backlash from the business community.

Announcing the Bill on X, Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

The post further read, “It is our government’s wish that the Kannadigas should avoid being deprived of jobs in the land of Kannada and should be given an opportunity to build a comfortable life in the motherland.” He said that his government is a pro-Kannada government and their priority is to look after the welfare of Kannadigas.

Later after criticism from industry leaders, the Kartnataka CM deleted the post and then shared another post in Kannada that talks about giving reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.

Speaking to the media, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government is trying to introduce a law to give preference to locally available skills. He added that at the management level, it has been decided to provide reservations to 50% of the people.

At the non-management level, it has been decided to provide work to 70%, he said. If a particular skill is not available, people can be outsourced and they can be given work here. But the Government is trying to bring in a law to give preference to locally available skills, the minister further added.

In response to the government’s announcement about the passage of the Bill, industry leaders and unions voiced concerns that it would impede industry growth by pushing away skilled workers not protected by the quota. Nasscom, the apex body for the technology industry in India, stated that the Bill was “deeply disturbing”.

Mohandas Pai, a Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys, also said that the government must focus on increasing jobs, training, and educating Kannada youth instead of driving away investment. Karnataka is India’s best state, adding that he said we should not destroy this. Pai termed the Bill as ‘discriminatory, regressive, and against the Constitution’ even as he attacked the ruling Congress for the decision.

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