Rajneeti 2019 I Of Alliances and Statues


A monthly column rounding up the latest news related to Indian politics in the run up to the 2019 General Elections. We’ve got you covered, with some laughs in between. 

In the run up to the largest democratic exercise in the world, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, or as people like to say from the comfort of their homes, “Modi ko kaun hara sakta hai” (who can defeat Modi), we here at One Future Collective (OFC) decided to give you, our readers, a slightly humourous, slightly informative, and slightly opinionated weekly roundup of all the political panderings, nitpickings, gerrymanderings and slanderings that our esteemed pillars of democracy sought to provide us.

Before the politics though, the last week saw the first all party meet in three years wherein Rajnath Singh proclaimed that he had the backing of all the parties with respect to  countering the heinous and condemnable attack on Indian CRPF personnel who were were attacked by a truck laden with explosives driven by a member of the Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Coming back to who can defeat Mr. Modi, he certainly seems to be on a spree of inaugurations, having flagged off various different projects (that seem to have conveniently come to fruition right before the Election Commission enforces its Model Code of Conduct), with the erstwhile Train 18, now the Vande Bharat Express, India’s fastest commuter train having its first run between Delhi and Varanasi. Not so conveniently, the train crashed into some cattle on the next day itself and ground itself to a halt and was promptly criticised along with the entire Make In India initiative by the Gandhi scion. Not to be deterred, the Railway Ministry announced on Sunday that the tickets had been booked out for two weeks, and that the train had started on schedule. Not to miss also is the political irony, where Modi will be fulfilling Mayawati’s dream of a Sant Ravidas statue in Varanasi, widely rumoured to be part of the Dalit outreach programme. One wonders why Mr. Modi is working so hard to placate the voters of his constituency. Of course, the fact that Varanasi is in the heart of the Hindu heartland, the cornerstone of the NDA rule providing 71 Lok Sabha seats has nothing to do with the placation, I’m sure. Another huge inauguration by the BJP was the Shivaji statue and the Samarth Ramdas Swami statue in Uran on Sunday, an event that saw 8 lakh attendees.

The JDU-led Bihar coalition was left with an egg on their face when the Supreme Court questioned the lack of eggs in their midday meal scheme, in violation of the Supreme Court order in 2015. One questions why they have been chickening (sorry for the terrible pun) out of debates on this matter. A Shiv Sena member announced that a decision on seat sharing in Maharashtra had been decided and formalised, with the BJP and the Shiv Sena contesting 25 and 23 seats respectively. As so was a seat sharing arrangement decided between Nitish Kumar and Modi.

While rounding up the news, one notices that the Congress siblings were noticeable by their absence save for a few outbursts in spurts. One wonders what political chicanery is being cooked up by all the parties next as we get closer every week to election day. Join me next week for all the highs and lows, mostly lows of the Indian rajneeti.

Shubham Morarka is a Volunteer at One Future Collective.

Featured image: morparia

Mapping and negotiating power

Uncuff India Episode 10: Dimensions of conflict and peace: visioning a utopian world

Uncuff India Episode 9: Civic space and dissent: A pathway to social justice