Dr. Abdul Ruff
Edited by Divas
India is slowly getting ready to face yet another general poll possibly in May to elect a new parliament.
More than 800 million people are eligible to vote in what’s being called world’s largest democratic exercise to find worthy leaders to represent the people.
Aam Aadmi Party, or the AAP, has fielded Rajmohan Gandhi as its candidate from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency.
A leading academic and author, Rajmohan Gandhi, 78, is the oldest son of Mahatma Gandhi’s youngest son Devadas Gandhi.
Rajmohan joined Aam Aadmi Party on February 21, fueling speculation that he could contest against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
A senior academic, Rajmohan also counts India’s last Governor-General and statesman C Rajagopalachari as his maternal grandfather, did not rule out the possibility of contesting against Narendra Modi, saying that he would consult his party over such a matter.
An acclaimed author, Rajmohan Gandhi has taught at a number of Indian and American universities.
“I was drawn to AAP because I felt there was something genuinely new and fresh about it,” Gandhi said.
Rajmohan has had a brush with electoral politics when he contested and lost Lok Sabha polls in 1989 from Amethi against ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi.
This will be Gandhi’s third foray into electoral politics.
Meanwhile, a US-based Pew Research Center survey revealed that seven-in-ten Indians are dissatisfied with the way things are moving in India today.
“The Indian public, by a margin of more than three-to-one, would prefer the Hindu-nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party to lead the next Indian government rather than the Indian National Congress, which heads the current UPA governing coalition,” the survey said.
Narendra Modi has widened his lead as a candidate to become India’s prime minister and his Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to emerge as the single largest party in coming elections, according to a new opinion poll.
The results present a challenge to Rahul Gandhi, the fourth generation member of the long-ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, who is leading the ruling Congress party-led coalition in national polls due by May.
Compared with the relatively untested Gandhi, Modi has years of experience as the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, where he has built a reputation as a business-savvy administrator.
However, the survey does not include Aam Admi party, nor it includes rural segments for interview.
Local opinion polls have had a mixed record in the past, given the country’s huge and diverse electorate.
Modi’s greatest challenge seems to be the allegation that he has committed serious crimes against humanity in his Gujarat state in order to claim leadership of BJP party.
Critics accuse him of not having done enough to stop the communal riots in Gujarat, allegations he has strenuously denied and have never been proven.
The people favoring AAP claim that both Congress and BJP ruined the national economy and people’s assets by selling them to their favorite corporates and friends, thereby laying foundations for insensitive and irresponsible crony system.
Update: March 3: After waging a protracted anti-nuke struggle, noted activist Dr. S.P. Udayakumar, who was hitherto spearheading the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project struggle and his associate Rev. Fr. M.P. Jesuraj joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday, further strengthening the AAP as well as anti-nuclear, patriotic forces in India.
Joining the party in the presence of David Barunkumar Thomas, AAP’s State campaign committee convener, Dr. Udayakumar said he had decided to join the AAP after its high command agreed to fulfill his conditions such as taking people’s opinion on establishing nuclear reactors and decentralisation of power.
“My joining the AAP will further strengthen the ongoing struggle against the project and take the issue to the national level with much vigour,” Dr. Udayakumar said justifying his decision.
“While we’ll take this issue (anti-KKNPP agitation) to the next level, women from Idinthakarai (Kudankulam) will lead the PMANE and continue the protests here,” he said.
The activists S P Udayakumar and another frontrunner of the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy, M P Jesuraj are set to take the political plunge as Aam Admi Party candidates.
Aam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan always supported the popular demonstrations of Kudankulam people against imposition of nuke plant on their soil.