BJP 'South mein saaf; North, West, East mein half', announces Jairam Ramesh

Commenting on polling trends so far, the Congress leader predicted an INDIA bloc win was a certainty after the fifth phase of elections, with over 272 seats

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh in a discussed the  religious references in Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's campaign messaging in a video posted 17 May 2024 (screengrab from @INCIndia/X)
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh in a discussed the religious references in Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's campaign messaging in a video posted 17 May 2024 (screengrab from @INCIndia/X)

NH Political Bureau

With the fifth phase of polling having just concluded on the evening of 20 May, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh seems more than confident of an INDIA bloc victory, as he has taken to X for a spot of fortune-telling.

Noting that 'trends that have been emerging since Phase 1 have only gained strength', he declares the BJP's fate:

It is clear that for the BJP, it is South mein saaf, North, West and East mein half.

On the other hand, the INDIA bloc 'has already crossed the halfway mark of 272 seats and is on course for a tally of over 350 seats in total', the Congress general secretary (communications) predicts. He says in the post:

The departure of Mr Modi is now all but sealed.

He attributes the BJP's upcoming downfall to the saffron party's own policies, saying: 'Backbreaking price rise, record-high unemployment, and the BJP’s threats to change the Constitution and end reservations, have all made it very clear in the Indian voters’ mind — Modi must go.

On the contrary, he says, the same issues have earned the Congress the voters' goodwill because of the grand old party's 'positive campaign'.

Speaking of the campaigning of the INDIA bloc parties as a whole, he says: 'Our Nyay Patra and Guarantees are the focus of the messaging of all parties.

"The slogan of “Khata-Khat” has captured the imagination of the people, to the extent that even the outgoing PM has been forced to respond to it," Ramesh continues.

Ramesh also says that the announcement of the Congress' final campaign 'guarantee' — of doubling the allotment of free foodgrain for each individual under the National Food Security Act (FSA) — has 'caught fire in North and East India'.

As for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continued Ramesh, he had continued his campaign in his usual style too — a '3D' one, the Congress leader calls it, to 'Distort, Divert, and Defame'.

Slamming the prime minister for having taken a 'rabidly communal' approach as it became clear that '400 paar (400-plus seats)' and 'Modi ki Guarantee' were not going to reap the expected dividends.

'The open resort to communal hatred and the failure to run a mature, agenda-driven campaign after ten years in office has backfired spectacularly,' Ramesh has posted.

Referring to declarations in the prime minister's recent interviews with the media — something of a novelty for this regime, to begin with — Ramesh said: 'Cowed by the backlash, the PM has now made the claim that he would be “ineligible for public life” if he ever had to resort to Hindu–Muslim politics.'

Naturally, this brings him to the matter of the openly divisive speeches by the prime minister that give this claim the lie, with slanderous and demeaning epithets referencing the Muslim community (ghuspaithia, or infiltrators; 'those who have many children'; and so forth) as well as accusations that the Congress is going by the Muslim League's playbook of yore.

'The deep slumber of the Election Commission has been unfortunate,' Ramesh says. 'The BJP, with the outgoing PM leading from the front, commits violations of the Model Code of Conduct on a daily basis.'

In addition to the prime minister's speeches, he refers to the Bharatiya Janata Party's use of religious symbols in its candidates' campaigns, advertisements on polling day and videos on social media showing repeat voting by BJP workers.

Followers will have noted his video posted on 17 May, showing the website of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath using extensive religious imagery while the BJP leader is actively campaigning — which certainly seems in clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct to the lay person's eye.

'We also continue to hope for immediate publication of turnout figures as soon as possible after the conclusion of voting,' Ramesh says of the Election Commission's conduct of its polling duties.

Coming back to the polling trends, he speaks of the winds of change rising into a veritable storm: 'Every single ground report is very clear.'

Hawa badal rahi hai. Aandhi ban rahi hain. The INDIA Janbandhan is set to sweep the NDA away.

'June 4th is coming! Badlega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA!,' he concludes.

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