Straw polls

Straw polls

The BJP's performance in bypolls to Lok Sabha seats vacated by President Pranab Mukherjee (Jangipur) and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna (Tehri) appears to have brought cheers to the Sangh Parivar with its journal, Organiser, devoting prominent place to the national mood.

Its cover story declares that the bypoll results the BJP winning Tehri and improving its voteshare in Jangipur were serious "reverses", cause for the Congress to be "jittery". A news report in Panchjanya calls the Tehri result a message against "Bahuguna and Sonia" from the people, fed up with the "corruption and arrogance" of the Congress. Organiser also highlights the almost three-fold jump in the BJP's votes in Jangipur as a recognition of the saffron party's emergence as "a power to be reckoned" with in West Bengal.

But the Organiser article also attributes the BJP's Tehri victory to the "united" front put up by its leaders former CMs Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, B.C. Khanduri and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank this time round. It argues that "if the same spirit would have been infused in the assembly polls the party would not have been out of power" in the first place.

Mandir and Mulayam

The Sangh Parivar has raised the alarm over what it calls "clandestine" moves by the Uttar Pradesh government for an "out of court settlement" that, "if reports are to be believed", also includes "building a mosque within the religious boundaries of Ayodhya". Echoing the warning issued against the move by VHP leader Ashok Singhal, the Organiser editorial wonders whether "Mullah Mulayam covets [the title of] Babar II ?"

Recounting Mulayam Singh Yadav's history of "pandering" to Muslims, the editorial claims that unconfirmed reports suggesting a "solution favouring Muslims" hold "credence" because Mulayam's son Akhilesh is heading the government. Apprehensive that the UPA government is also a "willing" party to these covert moves to "force a decision on Hindus", Organiser says that Hindus will not tolerate any solution that will allow a mosque within the religious perimeters of Ayodhya. While Organiser has done an editorial, Panchjanya has published a cover story on the subject.

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