Plots and gameplans

Elections are here and so are the conspiracy theories.

So now we know. Thank you, Headlines Today, for revealing the deep-rooted conspiracy at the heart of today's politics. No, it has nothing to do with Muzaffarnagar and possible LeT recruitment in the refugee camps there — the subject of much debate on NDTV 24x7, Times Now and CNN-IBN, Tuesday night. No, Headlines Today has snooped around and come up with a new expose of the Congress. What, again? What now?

Now, it's the Congress's AAP "gameplan". It's Machiavellian "plot" is to have the AAP erode the BJP's vote share in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in anything between 50-100 seats, depending on whether the new party's vote share is 5 or 10 per cent. Headlines Today buttressed its argument by citing the example of Raj Thackeray's MNS in Maharashtra during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, where it played a spoiler for the BJP-Shiv Sena by eating into their vote share — and, as a result, helping the Congress win more seats. What was unclear from this fascinating piece of journalism is the precise nature of the role played by the Congress in the current AAP electoral strategy. From all that we have learnt from media reports, the AAP has decided to fight a large number of Lok Sabha seats — but without consulting Rahul G or Sonia ji. So where is the Congress hand in the AAP "gameplan"? Headlines Today doesn't say.

The AAP may or may not eat into the BJP's vote share, but certainly it has already eaten into the BJP's media exposure. How often do you see Narendra Modi on your news channels nowadays? Sporadically, where once he was a daily, nay an hourly fixture. Since the December assembly election results, he's been replaced by AAP, Muzaffarnagar, Rahul Gandhi and even the prime minister in the pecking order. This hiatus from the media spotlight may be good for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate: many would say, Modi has been overexposed too early in the run-up to this summer's elections.

... contd.

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