A strange request

It is unusual for a district administration to request the MP of the district not to visit his constituency because it will be difficult to maintain peace and law and order as his proposed visit coincides with the Durga Puja, Dusserah and Muharram. Unusual it is but such a request has actually been made to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by the civil administration of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, the constituency he represents in the Lok Sabha. The request seems to be politically motivated because the Prime Minister himself visited his constituency of Varanasi during the Durga Puja and Navratri. Why Rahul’s visit during the festivities would pose a threat to the maintenance of law and order has not been explained. The unusual request must have been made at the instance of higher ups at the political level. The district administration only carried out the order.
The ruling BJP claims that Rahul has failed to click with the people, that as a political leader he is a washout. Why then his visit should cause so much alarm to the UP Government? The Congress says there will be no change in Rahul’s programme. The political equation between the two parties being what it is, the possibility of political provocation remains. It has been reported that a survey recently conducted by the RSS has found that in both Gujarat and Maharashtra, two election-bound States, the BJP’s vote share is likely to decline as the party has antagonized several sections of the people in the two States. But in UP, Assembly elections were held just six months ago and there is no election round the corner. Why should, therefore, the Congress VP’s visit to Amethi be the cause of worry for the party that rules both the Centre and UP?
Behind the claim of the ruling party that everything is gung-ho and the people are happy with the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister, there seems to be some misgiving about the extent of mass support the party enjoys now, after being in power for more than three years. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has claimed in a signed newspaper article that there are many in the BJP who have doubts about the direction of the economy and the prudence of some of the vital decisions taken by the party in recent times, from demonetization to the introduction of GST, but these party men are afraid to open their months. The leadership should assure the party men rather than request an Opposition leader to stay out of his constituency.

Tuesday, 3 October, 2017