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'We don't need a monster like Modi'
December 13, 2002 22:17 IST
Since December 1, our reporters have been on the campaign trail in Gujarat. Here, they respond to queries from readers. If you want to know more about this section, and read our reporters' despatches, click Ask our reporters.
How is the Congress position in Saurashtra and Kutch. What are its chances of winning most seats from these regions?
Sheela Bhatt replies: The Congress position is pretty good in Saurashtra and Kutch, thanks to the corrupt image of the sitting BJP MLAs.
Thanks for your lively reports. What do you think is the Patel lobby's attitude to this election? Is Keshubhai Patel canvassing wholeheartedly for the BJP? Can the Congress bank on the division of Patel votes? Please write much, much more on Gujarati Rediff. We love your stories.
Sheela replies: I think in this election Keshubhai found himself behind a 'Lakshman rekha'. He started campaigning late but he did work for the party. I think most Patels voted BJP and they were most vocal.
Dear Ms Sheela,
Narendra Modi was solely responsible for the massacre of Muslims and the destruction of their properties. He should have been arrested and punished for his crime. But unfortunately the BJP government protected him and now they want to make him a hero! A win for Narendra Modi is a win for communal forces in India and a defeat for him is our win, every peace-loving citizen's win.
Please stop this man from wresting our peace and prosperity. He is a man who cannot feel the excruciating pain of a husband when a wife is gang-raped in front of him, of a father when his daughter is raped or when his innocent children are slaughtered.
India is a peace-loving country and we don't need a monster like Modi. Please help to wrest the power from this man!
K J Haroon Basha (an Indian peace-loving patriot)
Sheela replies: Have heart. The strength of the Hindu tradition is mightier than 10 Modis. It has survived ages. It will get corrected and return to its originality. Modi can only make a temporary impact.
What type of role Gujarat will play in Indian politics if the BJP comes to power again?
Amberish K Diwanji replies: A victory in Gujarat is very important for the BJP, which has lost in all the other states where it held power so far. In fact, Gujarat is the last major state still with the BJP.
Second, within the BJP, a victory in Gujarat will strengthen the hands of the Hindutva lobby, which might well call the shots in the coming days.
There were many discrepancies in the election. Many names were not there in the voters' list. I am a voter in the Sabarmati area, but my name was not in the list and I could not vote. Many, many people complain of this issue. Please bring this to the notice of the Gujarat chief minister, Indian prime minister and the chief election commissioner.
Amberish replies: The issue of missing names is unfortunate, though I am not sure it is entirely the Election Commission's fault. The EC prepares a list on the basis of the names provided by local authorities, who are thus responsible too.
I am not sure if there is any provision for a re-poll in case some people are unable to vote, unless there is proof of coercion, fraud, or some such. Moreover, since the BJP is likely to win, I doubt if the party will seek a re-poll in areas where many people could not vote. Thus the whole issue, like so many other mistakes that happen in our country, will simply be forgotten; it already has been ever since the exit polls predicted a BJP victory -- on Friday, the BJP was creating a ruckus about the missing names, but today, there is not even a murmur.
The famous case of Vishwa Hindu Parishad international secretary general Praveen Todagia's name missing from the voter's list, apparently his name was listed in a different place from where he went to vote.
Will the result of the Gujarat poll be a hung assembly?
Jewella C Miranda replies: Had the voter turnout been marginal, the possibility of a hung assembly may -- and I say that without much conviction -- have been there.
Aren't these politicians smart dream merchants, selling their promises, befooling voters who have no say once he casts his/her vote? Don't they care for people who have lived through an earthquake and riots? Please ask the bigwigs you meet. I, being from Punjab, have gone through riots and can understand its terror and suffering.
Jewella replies: As a photographer, I am not required to question politicians. Then again, I would say it depends on the individual politician and his personal credo.
Regarding your visits to Maninagar, Naroda Patiya, Patan, Godhra: what are the chances of the minority community? Is it a neck-and-neck fight?
Syed Firdaus Ashraf replies: Sameer, the Muslim community in Gujarat has lost faith in the BJP. They want Modi out. Wherever I went, they wanted to vote for the Congress. But they were saddened by the fact the Congress hardly cared to campaign there. They were more hurt by the fact the Congress was also toeing the soft Hindutva line. But the general feeling I got was that they would vote for the Congress because there is no other option left.
What is the mood among the voters? Which party fairing well?
Firdaus replies: As far as I could see, the wave is for the BJP. The exit polls also say the BJP will win.