National

BJP lost face among educated in ‘mini-referendum’: Sena leader

NAGPUR, DEC 14 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/14/2020 12:23:45 PM IST

A senior Shiv Sena leader has said that the recent losses suffered by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh biennial elections for legislative councils in Teachers and Graduates constituencies reflects “disenchantment of the educated, middle-class.”

Going a step further, he cautioned that the BJP’s ideological mentor’s control may be slipping away. Farmers’ leader Kishore Tiwari said this in an open letter to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat here on Monday.

He referred to the results in 5 Teachers and Graduates MLC seats in Maharashtra of which two each were bagged by the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, besides one by an Independent, last week.

The worst loss is considered the Nagpur Division Graduates seat which was bagged after 58 years by Congress candidate Abhijit Wanjarri, trouncing the BJP in the RSS stronghold of Nagpur.

In UP, there was another embarrassment in Varanasi where the Samajwadi Party’s Ashutosh Sinha won the Graduate seat in what comprises Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency in the state ruled by BJP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Tiwari - an Advisor to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and accorded a Minister’s status - said that the Graduates’ and Teachers’ constituencies comprise the cream of the electorate. They are educated reformers, well aware and are largely middle-class taxpayers.

However, the BJP’s losses in Varanasi, Allahabad-Jhansi, Gorakhpur-Faizabad (UP) and Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad and Amravati (Maharashtra) tell a grim tale.

“In a way, you must appreciate the fact that it is also a sample survey of sentiments of the most qualified big strata of society, constituting more than 60 lakh people spanning Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, like a ‘mini-referendum’,” Tiwari pointed out. Without mincing words, he said the defeats in the PM’s constituency in a BJP-ruled state and other critical seats, besides Nagpur which is the RSS headquarters -- once considered the “pillars of BJP’s support” -- has hugely jolted the BJP’s support among the educated middle-class.

Pointing out the manner in which these debacles are being downplayed by the BJP, Tiwari warned that these should not be construed as ‘normal defeat’ and demanded an open debate and introspection by the RSS.

He also asked pointed questions: “Has BJP forfeited the confidence of the cream of Indian society as reflected from this largest sample survey (of over 60 lakh voters), is it the failure of PM’s policies and the big economic crisis in the corona pandemic that was (mis)handled, hitting the common masses and the migrants, etc.”

Tiwari asked: “Has a message gone out that the BJP is helping corporates and capitalists, has the PM’s so-called ‘magic’ failed, especially among the silent secular Hindus, who no longer back his extremely communally divisive policies, ‘love-jihad’, or targeting sections of people on caste-communal lines, which the RSS never propagated.”

President of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM), Tiwari also took a swipe at Maharashtra BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and his banker-wife Amruta.

“I had even requested you to check the undue interference and venom spread through the ‘Amruta-vani’ which the common people have resented. But no corrective measures are visible and the message being spread is ‘Lord Indra’ and his ‘Amruta-vani’ are practically owners of the state BJP,” Tiwari said.

On Fadnavis and others, he claimed that a “power hungry BJP coterie” in Maharashtra is continuously targeting the Shiv Sena to push it out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (of Sena-NCP-Congress) and grab power, but that has not gone down well with the masses, given the clear outcome of the Graduates and Teachers constituency results.

 

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