Thursday 26 May 2022
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Lok Satta dumps AAP, embraces Modi

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Before the Delhi Assembly elections, Lok Satta Party (LSP) president N Jayaprakash Narayan had tweeted an appreciative message for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The AAP dealt with it dually. On the one hand, it used the tweet for advertising itself. On the other, its Facebook manager Ankit Lal tweeted acerbically that the appreciation should not be construed as a possible alliance, almost saying the AAP did not need the LSP.

Sirf News’ investigation revealed the Hyderabad-based party was posturing. It had, for years, built the organization brick by brick, mostly drawing in the educated youth of Andhra Pradesh. A chunk of that cadre comprised Muslims. As the AAP was being promoted big time by the media, the LSP feared erosion in its cadre base. Some members of the party, expecting more than Narayan’s benignity to make a mark in politics, were taking up membership of the AAP. It was to stop an exodus that the LSP started praising the AAP, hinting at an alliance, so that supporters of the former get the impression that being with the LSP was as good as being with the AAP!

Until three months ago, the LSP was not sure which way to go. In a meeting held in Delhi, LSP general secretary Surendra Srivastava asked its young members what the youth were looking for: The “good governance” model promoted by Narendra Modi, or the “anti-corruption” plank of Arvind Kejriwal? The meeting ended without a consensual — let alone unanimous — answer.

But the LSP’s record shows it believes in working with the establishment. It is also averse to Kejriwal’s rabble-rousing brand of politics, which it calls “disruptive”. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, rising at a frenetic pace in the people’s imagination and expectation, was hence a more likely partner — more so when psephologists started predicting an abysmal result of the AAP and remarkable performance of the BJP in the general elections of 2014. But an early announcement of proximity with Modi could make the Muslims leave.

That uncertainty has now given way to a candid expression. Early this week, Modi and Narayan endorsed the agenda of each other during their meeting at Begumpet airport in Hyderabad. Modi, who was in Hyderabad for a public meeting, met Narayan before leaving for the venue.

“We are united by our development agenda and commitment to economic growth. This is our common and repeated refrain that transcends party and alliance lines,” said Narayan.

During their private meeting, Modi and Narayan spoke about the necessity to create 1 crore new jobs across India to revitalise the economy and give it the much-needed push. Both of them agreed that bold reforms, be it on or labour laws coupled with significant infrastructure creation were needed to make 1 crore jobs a reality.

Modi, receptive to Narayan’s ideas, offered to work together towards achieving this goal. The LSP leader exhorted Modi to not simply be “yet another PM”, but one that would go down in history as having altered the economic trajectory of India.

“Modi is the best choice for India and Loksatta is the best choice locally. Ours is the only party that has a vision for the region’s economic progress. I’m confident that Malkajgiri will create even bigger history than Kukatpally did in 2009,” added Narayan who is contesting from the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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