Editorial analysis: BJP’s Prez poll, Opposition unity under watch


Photo Credit Twitter Rashtrapati Bhavan

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Here, The Raisina Hills will be daily analyzing editorials of a maximum of five leading newspapers from India.  

 India’s two well-known newspapers The Hindu and Deccan Herald on Saturday had editorials on the upcoming 16th Presidential elections.

Headlined ‘Known unknowns’, the Hindu lead editorial struck the line that the Bharatiya Janata Party nominee will be the next President of India but the election will be crucial for the Opposition.

Deccan Herald with its lead editorial, headlined ‘Next Prez will be a political message’ sought to take the argument that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre would send out significant message to the country with the choice of the nominee to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The Hindu editorial makes it clear that the BJP will get its man in the Rashtrapati Bhavan even while the ruling alliance is short of 20,000 votes in the electoral college which has a total vote value of 10,86,431. The NDA commands 5,25,706 votes, and the Biju Janata Dal with 31,686 and the YSR Congress with 43,450 votes will ensure smooth sailing for the BJP nominee for the Presidential elections, argued The Hindu.

Chennai headquartered newspaper further underlines that the election is taking place amid sharp religious polarization even while this will be the second Presidential polls in which Jammu and Kashmir legislators will not take part.

The Hindu further argues that the Presidential poll will test the Opposition unity.

Deccan Herald after making similar arithmetic analysis expands to argue that the incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind will not get second term while the BJP’s choice will be driven by its political interests for various social groups while singling out women, tribal, Muslims, southern and northeastern states as the potential segments from which the next President may come.

Deccan Herald at the same time underlined that Mamata Banerjee, M K Stalin and Sharad Pawar from the Opposition will play key roles in finding out the joint Opposition candidate in the poll.

The Bengaluru headquartered newspaper has chosen to ignore the Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, who has vowed to stitch an Opposition alliance against the BJP.

The Indian Express has gone with a lead editorial on the raging controversy over the remarks by the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammad. Headlined ‘Cornering A Friend’, The Indian Express has argued that the controversy is shrinking room for India’s allies abroad, pointing to sharp reactions among the Muslim countries against the remarks of the BJP’s former spokespersons.

The editorial builds the case by arguing that the United Arab Emirates even while not expected to react went with its Muslim brothers to issue sharp comments against India despite the two countries being close strategic partners. It warned that the Friday protests across the country run the risk of leading the domestic politics in a polarization trap. Also, it suggests that the large imperative of keeping the calm also devolves on non-BJP groups and parties.

The editorial page in The Time of India comes on page 20, and it has gone with a lead comment on the Rajya Sabha elections, showering praises on the BJP for “fighting all polls hard”. It’s second editorial is on Thailand for becoming the first Asian country to decriminalize marijuana for medical and industrial use. Canada and Uruguay have decriminalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes also. It claims that Thailand’s part-decriminalisation of marijuana use will fetch the country USD 435 million by 2026. It concludes saying that decriminalizing marijuana since India had centuries old tradition of its use as part of culture fully makes legal sense, as well as an economic sense.

The Hindu in its second editorial has analyzed the prevailing Sri Lankan situation which is mired in economic crisis. The editorial calls for Sri Lanka to return to Parliamentary democracy. Much of the blames are being set on the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajpaksa and the executive presidency in the island nation for taking the country to the stage of financial collapse.

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