Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The rise of AAP and ‘Dar dar Modi’

Election Round-up brings to you daily commentary on what the world is saying about the Lok Sabha polls

Hello again. Yesterday we told you how Arvind Kejriwal seems to have cornered the market for media coverage according to a study published in this newspaper. But has this coverage really led to robust funding for AAP candidates. Not really. Today we learnt in the Business Standard that seven of the party’s Lok Sabha candidates in Gujarat have only received Rs10 so far in poll funds. “If the entire fund of the party’s LS candidates in Gujarat is put together, it totals to Rs1.31 lakh. While some candidates believe this fund-cruch is posing problems during election time, the party is still maintaining that they are getting good support," the paper says.

Nonetheless The Hindu insists that: “One of the most magical moments of this election, the moment when people saw politics once again as an act of faith and hope, was the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The story of AAP is not just its story, it is the story of these people reinventing politics and themselves." Shiv Visvanathan says that for all its unpredictability, the AAP is “the party of the future and a party with a future."

Meanwhile, The Economic Times tells us that both Kejriwal and Narendra Modi are yet to arrange for accommodation in Varanasi, arguably the election’s foremost battleground. “The two out-of-town candidates in the country’s most high-profile electoral contest still haven’t decided where they’re going to stay in Varanasi. Managers on both sides are weighing possible locations for the greatest advantage in terms of political mileage, while in the case of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, security considerations also come into play."

Perhaps the BJP is too busy lining up a final barrage of criticism at the Congress, especially the Gandhi family. The DNA informs that Narendra Modi now regrets having attacked Manmohan Singh’s governance. “Sometimes I used strong words against Manmohan Singh. After some books were released (recently), I felt I should not have targeted Manmohan Singh as the mother and son were responsible for everything." the paper quotes him as saying at a rally in Hazaribagh.

It was at this very same rally that Modi suggested that Rahul Gandhi was prone to juvenile proclivities. “In the BJP we have a galaxy of senior and able leaders, while on the other side there is a childish leader who talks of balloons and toffees," Modi said, according to The Economic Times.

The Congress, of course, is not exactly being meek in the face of this hostile endgame. “Har har Modi should be dar dar Modi and everybody should shiver. Because a new dictator has come into town. For this dictator of Uma Bharti, there is no law, there is no court, there is no prosecution, there is no legal process, there is no appeal. He will come, he will be the master and he will put everybody in jail." The Economic Times quotes Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi as saying.

Meanwhile, Narendra Modi is set to face some pushback at home as well. Starting this week, The Business Standard reports, Modi “is set to face a multi-pronged attack in his home state, with a battery of political heavyweights from major parties such as the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Janata Dal (United) arriving in Gujarat." The BJP, however, says it is unperturbed. “We have our own heavyweights like party president Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj and former president Nitin Gadkari who will be campaigning for the party after 24 April," the paper quotes the BJP’s Harshad Patel as saying.

State broadcaster Doordarshan has been asked by the Election Commission to not telecast films starring actors contesting in the forthcoming polls, informs The Business Standard. Broadcast on other channels will not be restrained.

And finally Devjyot Ghoshal at The 545 analyses the historic performance of 11 celebrity MPs. The results are not encouraging and perhaps bodes badly for the 2014 polls that are packed with high-profile candidates. “But the glamour aside, the truth about celebrities in politics is grim. With scarce participation in debates, scarcer questions and sometimes even shoddy attendance, they make for some of the laziest lawmakers in the country." The post makes for glum reading.

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