The Hindu Editorial (General elections 2019) 30 April 2019
General elections 2019: The heat moves north
In the fourth phase of the 17th Lok Sabha election, 72 constituencies across nine States and including parts of Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir went to the polls on Monday. The BJP had won 45 of these 71 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha and its allies held another 11, indicating how critical this phase was for the incumbent dispensation. In the remaining phases too this pattern will continue. With the fourth phase, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two States in which the BJP and the Congress are in straight contests, started voting. In 2014 the BJP had won all 25 seats in Rajasthan, and in Madhya Pradesh, 27 out of 29 seats. Violence in parts of West Bengal cast a shadow on the process and pointed to a volatile situation in the State that could lead to more violence in the coming phases. The BJP’s designs are to pick up a good number of seats in West Bengal to partly compensate for the losses that it is certain to face in the Hindi heartland where it had peaked in 2014. The Election Commission has ordered an FIR against the BJP’s Asansol candidate Babul Supriyo for trespassing into a polling booth and intimidating an officer. The EC must remain alert to ensure that polling remains free of violence and intimidation. In Maharashtra and Odisha, voting has ended. Five constituencies in Bihar and 13 in Uttar Pradesh voted in the fourth phase. The BJP and its allies are being challenged by alliances of regional parties in the two States. Three constituencies in Jharkhand, six in Madhya Pradesh, six in Odisha, eight in West Bengal, 17 in Maharashtra, and 13 in Rajasthan voted on Monday.
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As the election moves to the last three phases, the BJP and its opponents appear to be fine-tuning their strategies. The minimum income guarantee scheme promised by the Congress in its manifesto has not become a defining topic, much to the party’s disappointment. The Samajwadi Party, which is in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party, has replaced its candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, in an effort to challenge him on the issue of national security, his key talking point. The new candidate, Tej Bahadur Yadav, was dismissed from the Border Security Force for circulating videos about poor quality food in the front lines. Mr. Modi claims to provide soldiers the best support, and Mr. Yadav’s candidacy is the alliance’s attempt to question that claim. In its heartland strongholds, the BJP is relying heavily on its core Hindutva agenda. Mr. Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have defended their decision to field terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal, and in fact used her candidacy to push the idea of Hindu victimhood, a key driver of their kind of politics. The EC’s inaction in the face of multiple complaints from the Congress and other parties against Mr. Modi remains a matter of concern, and the matter is now before the Supreme Court.
The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist
1) INCUMBENT (Adj) = Obligatory, ( पदस्थ )
Synonyms = Necessary, Compilsary.
Antonyms = candidate, noncurrent
2) DISPENSATION (Noun) = Distribution, ( विधान )
Synonyms = Exemption, liberty
Antonyms = Denial, Harshness
3) VOLATILE (Adj) = Unstable, ( परिवर्तनशील )
Synonyms = Erratic, fickle.
Antonyms = stable, steady
4) INTIMIDATING (Adj) = Daunting, ( भयभीत करने वाला )
Synonyms = frightening, menacing
Antonyms = Delicious, pleasant
5) MANIFESTO (Noun) = Proclamation, ( घोषणा पत्र )
Synonyms = Statement, Declaration.
Antonyms = secret
6) INACTION (Noun) = Inactivity, ( निष्क्रियता )
Synonyms = inertia, passiveness
Antonyms = Action, Excitation
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