AAP takes MCD; Kabul in terror hands; Cult intolerance

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Opinion Watch

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) predictably wrested control of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), but the verdict rekindled hope in the Bharatiya Janata Party camp, giving grounds to fight another battle. The AAP vote share came down from 53 (2020) per cent to 42 per cent (MCD polls), while the BJP polled a little over 39 per cent. Additionally, the minority vote base has substantially shifted to Congress, as Muslims accounted for seven of its nine winning candidates.

Most of the dailies have commented on the MCD poll verdict, dissecting the messages and listing the challenges for the AAP. Urban body misgovernance is an all-India story, with civic bodies being in terminal corruption cancerous stage. A municipal corporator or councilor is in super hurry to loot as much as possible to buy the path to gain tickets for Assembly elections, and officials take cues from them to become perennial termite.

Now that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be without the alibi that the MCD is not with him, he should deliver a few measurable outcomes in quick speed – releasing Delhi from gas and dust chambers, making garbage mountains vanish, ending waterlogging due to clogged drains. That is the message of the Editorials of most of the dailies, while some of them have explained the grounds for the high political stakes in civic bodies.   

Kabul in terror hands

A terrorist is always a terrorist, and this applies to the Taliban, which captured power in Afghanistan on the strength of their guns more than a year ago. India and a few European countries fell to the delusion that they could still do business with bearded terrorists in Kabul, but now they are realizing their follies.

The Times of Indian in its Editorial on the recent meeting of the Central Asia and India national security advisors, held in New Delhi, grimly opined on the Taliban throwing the garb of being different from its old version, while noting growing discomfort in Islamabad too. Affiliates of the Taliban are carrying out suicide attacks in Pakistan, including Balochistan, while the daily stated that terrorists are regrouping in Kabul. Indeed, the Taliban has reneged on its promise to not allow the Afghan soil for terror activities. This calls for a revisit of the western strategy on Afghanistan before the bearded monsters, who should have been in a zoo, unleashes terror in foreign countries.      

Cult intolerance

The Gujarat Police arrested the spokesperson of the Trinamool Congress and RTI activist Saket Gokhale for claiming that a fabulous sum was spent on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Morbi where a bridge had collapsed, which left 140 people, including several women and children, dead. The owner of the company which maintained the bridge was never arrested.

The Hindu in its Editorial has turned the spotlight on the irony of the incident; an activist is arrested for making a ‘false’ claim on PM’s Morbi visit, but promoters of the company which willfully ignored the fact that the swinging bridge could never have taken so many people on board were never touched. The Chennai-based daily stated that Gokhale, who was arrested from Jaipur in a lightning speed, could have been summoned for questioning and not slapped with charges which carry three years prison term. If this arrest be a template, lakhs of people would be behind bars for pushing out fake news on the social media platforms. That calls for the judiciary to set an example to rein the arbitrariness of the police.       

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