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Hamid Ansari a ranga siyar: BJP trolls Hamid Ansari

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Hamid Ansari

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]~By Sucheta Dasgupta

Soon after Ansari’s interview, in which he speaks about a feeling of unease and insecurity among the country’s Muslims, was aired on Rajya Sabha TV, a section of BJP leaders attacked the outgoing VP, Twitter trolls, author and BJP sympathiser Tarek Fateh ask him to ‘go to Pakistan’, filmmaker Ashoke Pandit wonder if Ansari will join the separatist Hurriyat conference in Kashmir

 Soon after Vice President Hamid Ansari’s televised interview, in which he talks about Indian Muslims feeling insecure and uneasy under the prevailing socio-political environment of the country, was aired on Rajya Sabha TV, on Thursday, a section of BJP leaders and an army of trolls on Twitter launched a virulent, even vituperative attack at him.

As Ansari demitted office – the only person since India’s first Vice President Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to have completed 10 years in the constitutional post – he also delivered a statesman-like speech in the Rajya Sabha, of which he was ex-officio Chairman. Quoting Dr Radhakrishnan, Ansari said: “democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minorities, a democracy is likely to disintegrate into a tyranny if it does not allow the Opposition to criticize freely and frankly the policies of the government.”

The mild-mannered, soft spoken former career diplomat, who was heaped with praise from parliamentarians of all political hues in the Rajya Sabha, however came in for heavy and often abusive criticism on Twitter and also from some BJP leaders soon after.

Making matters worse was a not-so-veiled attack at Ansari from his successor, Venkaiah Naidu, who told news agency PTI: “Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due.”

While BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya hit out at Ansari for his comments and wondered if they were fuelled by his ambition of taking on a political role, national executive member of the saffron party’s Mahila Morcha, Priti Gandhi wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter: “For 10 years my Hindu majority nation accepted you with open arms, placed you at the pinnacle of power & you still feel uneasy? Agenda kya hai? (sic).”

On APN channel’s daily current affairs talk show – Mudda – BJP leader Chandrabhushan Pandey called Hamid Ansari a “ranga siyar” (jackal dyed indigo) and added: “I never read about the illustrious “(former) President Zakir Hussain making such a statement. Ansari is a beneficiary of this system which values merit over faith and caste. He has turned out to be a ranga siyar, who can’t help himself from aligning with the narrow interests of his community. Yeh retirement ke baad apne liye rozgar talashne ki koshish hai (This is only an attempt to find positions for himself post retirement).”

The discourse over Ansari’s comments quickly disintegrated from routine political jibes to unparliamentary, obnoxious attacks on Twitter.

Right-wing political commentator and writer Tarek Fateh wondered why Ansari he doesn’t “retire to Pakistan” while film-maker and BJP sympathizer Ashoke Pandit tweeted: “Will not be surprised if #HamidAnsari joins #Hurriyat” (sic).[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]Others on Twitter put out pictures related to an earlier controversy with which Ansari was linked when news of him not saluting the Indian tricolor during a Republic Day parade (when the then US President Barrack Obama was special dignitary) led to right-wing activists raising questions over his “Indianness”. Ansari’s officer on special duty Gurdeep Singh Sappal had then explained: “When National anthem is played, Principal Dignitary and persons in uniform take the salute. Those in civil dress stand in attention.” Sappal had said that protocol dictates that at Republic Day parade, “the President of India, as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, takes the salute and by protocol, the Vice-President is required to stand in attention”.

Ansari has himself explained his position on the controversy thus: “If people don’t know what the correct protocol etiquette is, well, then that’s it. If one thing I know very well, it’s protocol. I have been the longest serving Chief of Protocol in the history of modern India. I know protocol and etiquette. I didn’t deviate from it.”

But trolls on Twitter clear don’t care about explanations or protocol and etiquette as is evident from the posts that flooded the site in a bid to attack and shame Ansari.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Deserted by key supporters, the Kamal Nath story looks set to wind to an end in Chhindwara

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail.

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By Neeraj Mishra

The Congress has lost Chhindwara only once since Independence when the wily Sunderlal Patwa was sent there by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to test Kamal Nath’s hold on the constituency. Patwa won the 1997 by-election by a slim margin in the backdrop of Nath having forced his wife to first contest and later vacate the seat for him. Nath, however, returned to his winning ways the very next year and has won the seat nine times.

It seems possible that Chhindwara, the lone surviving Congress seat, will be lost again this time and may be forever. A day ahead of polling, the town was drowned in saffron. Not so much the effect of vigorous campaigning by Vivek Sahu of the BJP but the Ram Navami festival which brought out saffron flags on every rooftop.  The effect is likely to last since the polling is today. At 77, Nath is unlikely to contest another election here and his son Nakul seems like a pale shadow of his father unable to even make a forceful speech. The days of running Chhindwara from Shikarpur kothi are gone.

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail. Nakul had won by a margin of 37,000 votes in 2019 and the biggest lead had come from Kamlesh’s Amarwada Assembly segment. With Saxena in control of Chhindwara and forced to show his strength in his new party, it is highly likely that Nakul will not be depending on these segments. Instead, the Congress campaign was focused on Pandhurna, Parasia and Chaurai.

Amit Shah was in the region a couple of days ago and warned all BJP workers—old and new—against lethargy. His message was clear, the BJP wants all 29 seats this time. Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya is camped here and using all his political acumen for the desired results. One such tactic was to raid the Shikarpur Kothi of Kamal Nath for his assistant Miglani who handles almost everything for him. With Miglani temporarily neutralised, BJP is best placed to repeat its win in Chhindwara in 1997.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha Elections 2024:  Nearly 40% voter turnout till 1pm

Chennai recorded an average voter turnout of 34% as of 1 pm on Friday. According data released by the Election Commission of India, Chennai (North) recorded 35%, Chennai (Central) recorded 32.3% and Chennai (South) recorded 34%.

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The first phase of voting for the 18th Lok Sabha elections started taking place in 21 states and Union territories on Friday. Nearly 40% voter turnout was recorded till 1pm across the states. Seats in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry go to elections on Friday.

There has been a substantial increase in the voter turnout charts across the Northeast states, with Tripura leading at 53.04% until 1 pm, as per the data released by the Election Commission of India. Other northeast states like Manipur (46.92%) and Meghalaya (48.91%) are also witnessing high voter turnout. After Tripura, West Bengal is experiencing a high voter turnout of 50.96%.

Chennai recorded an average voter turnout of 34% as of 1 pm on Friday. According data released by the Election Commission of India, Chennai (North) recorded 35%, Chennai (Central) recorded 32.3% and Chennai (South) recorded 34%.

Over 33% voter turnout was recorded in the first 6 hours of voting on Friday in 12 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan. According to the Election Commission, voting started at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and 33.73 % voting took place till 1 pm. The highest voter turnout of 40.72 % was recorded in the Ganganagar Lok Sabha seat while Karauli-Dholpur saw the lowest turnout of 28.32 %. Jaipur recorded a poll percentage of 39.35 %.

Over 37 % voter turnout was recorded till 1 pm in the Lok Sabha election being held for five parliamentary constituencies in Uttarakhand on Friday. Elections began at 7 am and the five constituencies recorded an overall poll percentage of 37.33 % up to 1 pm. The Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat recorded the highest turnout of 40.46 %, followed by Haridwar with 39.41%, Pauri Garhwal with 36.60 %, Tehri Garhwal with 35.29 % and Almora with 32.29 %.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Amit Shah files nomination from Gandhinagar

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah was accompanied by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.

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Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah submitted his nomination today from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. During his nomination, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhuperndra Patel accompained him.

Former deputy prime minister and BJP chief LK Advani, who earlier served as a representative of this seat during Shah’s successful run for re-election.

Soon after filing nomination, Shah said, today he has submitted his nomination from the Gandhinagar seat. He said it is a matter of pride for him that this seat was represented by the former Prime Minister  Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and the seat where Narendra Modi himself is a voter. He also said he has been an MLA and MP from this seat for 30 years. The people of this region have given him immense love, Shah said.

With an astounding vote share of 69.67 percent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shah maintained the BJP’s stronghold in Gandhinagar with a resounding victory. Election turnout has been consistently high in the city.

In 1984–85, Amit Shah joined the BJP. His political skills and organizational prowess were recognized, and he soon became the national treasurer of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

Amit Shah’s political career took a significant turn in 1991.

Shah became the national president of the BJP in 2014, and he was promoted to the position of Home Minister five years later.

In the context of Indian politics, Gandhinagar is a historical landmark. The former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, won seats from Gandhinagar and Lucknow in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. However, he decided to stay to his Lucknow seat, opening the door for other leaders to set their mark in Gandhinagar.

Meanwhile, Congress has fielded its party secretary Sonal Patel from Gandhinagar.

Gujarat is scheduled to go for a single phase of elections on May 7. The results of the election will be announced on June 4.

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