If one is following mainstream electronic news media, it would be surprising to see many anchors behaving as consultants to the Congress party than journalists. The shock of the mandate to PM Modi is evident in their shows. These liberal news anchors have taken it upon themselves to ensure Rahul Gandhi gets all the advice he can to “come of age”.
This free consultancy is not surprising considering that they tried all they could to ensure Modi does not get a second term. These very journalists were lamenting that the media is being favourable to the incumbent government and the opposition is not being given a fair treatment. Here we try to dismantle this claim. Here is the false narrative the media thrust upon people during the election season.
People unhappy about the “Ujjwala” scheme
It was evident that the Ujjwala scheme was a key driver in ensuring BJP’s win in UP assembly elections. So, the media tried to discredit this scheme right from the outset. There could have been some logistical issues, which is normal in any scheme. However, to paint the entire scheme as being a failure was beyond the pale. They even cooked up a reason that the cost of the subsidized cylinder itself was so high that women returned to cooking using their traditional ways like wood or kerosene.
The way in which women in general and women in UP, in particular, voted in favour of BJP was a clear indication that these stories were just that – stories.
Raj Thackeray will ensure BJP’s decimation in Maharashtra
The liberal intelligentsia even tried to take Raj Thackeray’s refuge in trying to defeat BJP. Apparently, his speeches were so well received that his team found it difficult to accommodate requests for rallies that pour in every day. Marathi channel showed his speeches live – well, entertainment channels also need higher TRPs. There was no basis for their sudden support to the man who, according to them, is instrumental in creating the cultural divide between Maharashtra and UP/Bihar.
This despite Raj Thackeray – not once in his speeches did he ask people to vote for Rahul Gandhi nor did he field any candidate in the state.
UP happy with Modi, but angry with Yogi
During the course of the long election season, some people in media may have realized that there is indeed an undercurrent and this undercurrent is in favour of PM Modi. Now, they had to find a way to ensure that this message does not percolate to the people. So, they came up with a new theory – Modi is still popular in UP, but they are increasingly angry with Yogi”. And what did they blame Yogi for – cattle menace and farmer unrest? Assuming that the election results had some verdict on Yogi’s administration too – this theory also falls flat.
One can safely guess that this theory was primarily floated to ensure Priyanka Gandhi gets a favourable field when she begins her campaign for UP assembly in 2022. After all, she herself has said that her focus is for that election and not the 2019 general elections. This very media is in for another surprise in UP in 2022.
Priyanka Gandhi is the Brahmastra for Congress
The entire media world experienced professional orgasms when it was announced that Priyanka Gandhi was going to join active politics. Many began to write how this could be last missing trick that could ensure Modi and BJP would be decimated in UP. Well…
When the media resorted to comparing Priyanka’s nose to Indira’s – the writing was already on the wall. Even when Priyanka resorts to gimmicks like wearing sarees during the election season, it was not this Priyanka – but another Priyanka’s (Chopra) wardrobe that made more news is a testament to her abysmal failure in this campaign.
Election Commission is in bed with the BJP
All one needs to ask is does M K Stalin agree? Does Capt Amarinder Singh agree? Does Naveen Patnaik agree? Hell…does Rahul Gandhi of Wayanad agree?
They even wrote Editorials that EC is complicit in its silence.
The funniest argument was that EC did not chide PM Modi, despite numerous complaints against him. Do these Editors imply that quantum of complaints is the yardstick for action?
Even the former President Pranab Mukherjee praised the EC for running a perfect election. Post counting, the tallying of VVPAT did not reveal one discrepancy. Enough said.
Chandrababu Naidu meeting leaders to give finishing touches to the coalition
Subtleties are not lost here. He was made the joker run around to give the impression to people, that Mahagathbandhan is indeed winning – to show how much traction the alliance is getting. The results have clearly shown that he may have done his job as a traveller quite well – but, did miserably as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
Hardik Patel is the next big thing in Gujarat after Dhokla
For a novice news consumer, Hardik Patel would have been the biggest political export from Gujarat after Mohandas Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. His contesting elections was in itself a big question mark. But when has reasoning been the strength of liberal media? Not only did Congress not win a single seat in Gujarat, BJP gained more than 50% votes in the state.
Alpesh Thakor will ensure BJP downfall in Gujarat
Just before the Gujarat assembly elections, we were fed that Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mavani and Alpesh Thakor were the “Trimurtis” to ensure BJP’s downfall. Alpesh Thakor continued to be the liberal darling, till he decided to quit Congress. There were rumours of him joining BJP. But, BJP may have decided that he needs to atone for his sins before he is given a formal entry into the party. Till then, he is a “dhobi ka…”.
Rift in BJP
Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha, Arun Shourie were all stale. They had done their acts. Enter a new player – Udit Raj. The advantage was that he is a Dalit too. So, him not given the ticket to contest in Delhi, was the ammunition media needed. Rahul Gandhi has shown his expertise in taking discarded politicians under his wings. No sooner did Udit Raj join Congress, than he started behaving like another BJP discard Navjot Siddhu.
The NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Bill will backfire
Northeast was one of the brightest spots for BJP. However, the media – more than the opposition – would ensure it would not be a cakewalk. The NRC and the Citizenship amendment bill were supposed to be the Waterloo for the NDA in the region. Not only the minorities but even others were also supposedly against its implementation. There may be some truth to this regarding the implementation. However, in many instances before the campaign season, Modi and Rajnath Singh had reassured people, that there would not be any indiscriminate implementation. Thus, the Eastern divide was finally broken by the BJP.
Rahul as PM of South India
Apparently, Rahul decided to contest from Wayanad, because Modi and BJP do not treat South India well – “South feels hostility from Modi”. Media joined the chorus. The loudest in the chorus – Rajdeep Sardesai even claimed that the North-South divide is so deep that Rahul Gandhi has a chance to become the Prime Minister of the Republic of South India. Whether it was said sarcastically or in truth, is anybody’s guess.
But the election results clearly showed that BJP emerged as the largest party with 30 seats in South India – followed by YSRCP, DMK and Congress. So much for BJP’s neglect of South India…!
How much coverage does AAP continue to get? Just for contesting in 7 seats in Delhi, where it is ruling. It manages to lose deposits in some of the seats. Yes – we know that Bhagwant Mann won in Punjab. Today he has more leverage in national politics than the darling Arvind Kejriwal.
As mentioned earlier, the media continuously also lamented that BJP was given wider coverage. One needs to just look at the evidence: Kanhaiya contesting from one seat and Prakash Raj contesting from one seat get more national coverage than YSRCP – that swept Andhra Pradesh. It is a different story that both of them lost – with Prakash Raj losing his deposit too. As an intellectual once said: “Kuch Bhi…?!”
It is quite evident that the media needs to introspect its behaviour, especially in its criticism of Modi and his government. Having said that, one tweet always comes back to me (by @dhaval241086):
In 2014, Modi stream rolled the opposition, because they were dead on arrival. He won 282 seats. In 2019, opposition and media had more ammunition to attack him. He wins 303 seats.