Who’s Battling For Ram In Meerut? Spoiler: It’s Not Who You Think!

Swarajya Staff

Apr 24, 2024, 08:22 PM | Updated 08:22 PM IST

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Ground Report: Why Arun Govil’s Fight In Meerut Has Become BJP’s Battle For Ram’s Honour

Arun Govil interacting with BJP workers. (Image credit: Sumati Mehrishi)
Arun Govil interacting with BJP workers. (Image credit: Sumati Mehrishi)

One finds a unique commotion when the BJP candidate from Meerut-Hapur LS seat is out campaigning:

  • Youngsters take off footwear before bowing down to him in a ‘pranam’.

  • Women rush to perform aartis.

  • Men surround him to touch his feet.

  • Supporters blow the conch during his speeches.

BJP has fielded Arun Govil, the on-screen 'Ram' in the ‘Ramayan’ serial, from Meerut-Hapur.

Ram's Return and Symbolism

  • Govil’s return to Meerut, "the city he belongs" to, coincides with Ram's return to Ayodhya earlier this year.

  • As is clear from above sight, Govil's appearance on the dais commands unflinching attention and respect from the 'viewers'.

  • His persona is resonating across generations, including the youth, thanks to the re-telecast of 'Ramayan' during Covid.

Political Landscape

  • BJP's incumbent MP Rajendra Agarwal replaced by takes a prominent place in the latter’s sabhas and speeches.

  • Opposition aims to challenge BJP and Govil by fielding Hindu candidates.

  • Muslims are around 36.05% and Hindus 61.15% of Meerut's populace.

  • BJP supporters are confident of a win as they see Dalit and Muslim vote dividing between SP-Congress and BSP.

Will this development set the flow of 'pachhwa' — the westerly winds from western UP — to help the BJP-RLD alliance?

The farmers supporting this alliance think so, "Abke Meerut se hee pachhwa chalegi (the wind of change from western UP will flow from Meerut)".

Read this ground report by my colleague Sumati Mehrishi to see how Govil's campaign blends the Modi factor, cultural influence, humility, local empowerment, and grassroots connectivity.

Hridayapath, Dispatch #11: Bengal's Violence, Modi's Governance, Bhumihars' Dominance, and Caste's Prominence

West Bengal violence. (X)
West Bengal violence. (X)

A Bengali Worker In Bihar Laments Bengal's Decline

  • Monu Debabrata, a Bengali in Bihar, reflects on the deteriorating situation in Bengal, "Bengal has become worse than Bihar," he says.

  • He expresses frustration with Mamata Banerjee's rule citing lack of job opportunities, pervasive violence, corruption.

  • "Didi's gangs are everywhere and they act like rajas," he declares in anger.

  • Debabrata regrets the lost potential of projects like the Tata Nano plant in Bengal, attributing it to narrow-minded politics.

  • He says it'll be difficult for BJP to win as "ghuspaithiyas" are deliberately made to settle in Bengal whose "30% vote is en masse locked for TMC".

Begusarai's Vibrant & Paradoxical Politics

  • In Begusarai's politics, caste dynamics play a significant role.

  • Lallan, a coconut street-vendor says he will vote for Lalu Yadav, though he has no narazgi against Modi.

  • Infact, he admits benefiting from Modi's schemes like electricity connection, Poshan Abhiyan, Svanidhi loan, and points to the flyover under construction

  • But he is candid in stating that he will caste his vote based on caste.

  • Dominance of Bhumihars and the influence of Giriraj Singh is reflected in this paradox.

So read the latest 'Hridayapath Dispatch' by Banuchandar Nagarajan to understand how Modi's governance, Bhumihars' dominance, and Caste's prominence shape politics in Bihar's hinterlands.

"We Can't Control Polls", Supreme Court's Heavy Dressing Down Of Petitioners Raising Doubt On EVMs

The Supreme Court of India.
The Supreme Court of India.

Supreme Court, today ,reserved judgment on a batch of petitions seeking 100% cross-verification of EVM votes with VVPAT paper slips.

The relentless questioning of Election Commission's clarification on technical matters by petitioners prompted the Supreme Court to come down heavily on them for doubting ECI's technical data and processes.

On Flash Memory Controversy

  • Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan's argument about flash memory's reprogrammability was countered by the SC, "Flash memory has no program and only symbols."

Election Integrity Concerns

  • As Bhushan continued raising doubts, Justice Datta said "we cannot control the election Mr Bhushan, we cannot control another constitutional authority."

Rigging Allegations and Legal Constraints

  • "Can we issue a mandamus on the basis of a suspicion?" Justice Datta sharply asked when senior advocate Santhosh Paul argued that there are softwares available in India for poll rigging.

Doubts and Barcodes: Legal Implications

  • Justice Khanna questioned the certainty of petitioners as the report cited by them itself says "doubtful".

  • He questioned the efficacy of assigning barcodes to candidates as proposed by the petitioners.

Judicial Interventions and Precedents

  • The court emphasizes that court has already intervened twice when there was scope for electoral improvement.

  • "Once, when we said VVPAT should be mandatory. The second time, when we increased from one to five," said Justice Khanna.

No Return to Ballots

  • On April 16, the bench had already dismissed the petitioner’s idea of returning to the ballot papers.

  • It said it had not forgotten what used to happen when ballot papers were used to cast votes.

Keep following ElectionsHQ for regular updates on 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Anmol N Jain

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