A POWER CUT FREE VARANASI: HOPE, MODI EFFECT WORKS ON ‘LOCAL FAULTS’ AS WELL

My generation has not seen and experienced uninterrupted 24-hour electricity supply in Varanasi.

It had become so common that we had left complaining. Those who could afford alternative arrangements of power generation were in green zone.

Those who could not became accustomed to a life juggling between the regular in and out hours of electricity visibility.

Though the official line maintained the outage quote of 4 to 6 hours, the average happened to 8 to 10 hours. During the days of peak demand, it used hover around 15 hours a day.

Then there were hours and days of no electricity owing to the problems known as ‘local faults’ including distribution wires problems, transformer breakdown and low voltage.

And that was normal. The problem was taken to an extent (by the governing governance) that it ceased to be a problem in the India’s most populous state where development was not an electoral issue, until the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The huge BJP surge wiping out the BSP and restricting the SP and the Congress just to the family seats tells us development was a major factor in the polls and people voted for the BJP expecting Narendra Modi to deliver on the development promise. The trend tells people’s patient is reaching to its tipping point.

But that doesn’t mean that it is going to change the functional priorities (though none defined could be located) of the SP government led by Akhilesh Yadav, at least, this much we can say with the state government’s careless and insensitive response on crime against women in the wake of the gruesome Badaun gangrape and murders.

And on the expected line, another controversy is raging in Uttar Pradesh – the state government discriminating against the areas that voted against the ruling party increasing the power supply outage hours in many cities after May 16 when the poll results came out.

And Varanasi was one of the target cities as reported.

So, the news that ‘the state government has made the city power cut free’ came as a surprise. Though the veteran BJP MLA Shyam Deo Roy Chaudhary was on an indefinite fast for 24-hour power supply, we can rightly say that it was the Modi effect that pushed the state government to act after Modi’s swift action on planning and implementation of development oriented promises for his constituency made during the election.

The response was more of a face-saving exercise on continued apathy with Varanasi, the spiritual and religious capital of Hinduism and India and one of the most visited tourism destinations globally.

Yes it was the #ModiEffect, we need to accept – 24 hour electricity supply to #Varanasi – something that our generation has not seen and experienced – let’s hope it has no riders and has the ‘uninterrupted’ clause in built.

It is true mere ordering a round the clock electricity supply to Varanasi doesn’t ensure a round the clock delivery. The power distribution infrastructure is in shambles and the city is witnessing increased reports of ‘local faults’ leading to long hours of power cut.

But, let’s hope the Modi effect will take care of it as well, and soon. Modi sounds honestly serious about Varanasi’s future and we can bank on him for this as well.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAY 17 SPEECH: NARENDRA MODI BEGIN ON A RIGHT NOTE IN VARANASI

When I see the pitiable condition of Ganga I feel pained but I feel it is Maa Ganga who has decided I have to do something for Her.

Need of the hour is to restore the glory of the Ganga. Today Maa Ganga is calling us, her children to make the river clean once again.

When Narendra Modi visited Varanasi on May 17 to thank the city for electing him with a huge margin, he began on a note indicative of the realization that he was well aware of the city’s expectations from him, these tweets tell us.

Varanasi and Ganga need immediate intervention at the highest level to justify the legacy of heritage they have.

The city is crumbling under the pressure of administrative and political apathy that has pushed the city’s infrastructure to the ignominy of being a Ganga city where the water of the Holy River is not fit for the Holy Dip.

And the problem has been compounded by the irresponsible attitude of its inhabitants.

Modi rightly reminded the city that it needed to change its course to get the city cleaned. His ‘paan and spit and stains’ anecdote is a universal problem of Varanasi that sums up how its inhabitants have contributed in giving the city a bad name.

On May 17, after offering prayers to Lord Shiva in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Modi headed for the Dasaswamedh Ghat to deliver his victory speech and he began on a right note.

While reminding the city of its responsibility, Modi, in an emphatic tone, assured the city that he would see to it that the Ganga and the city, ignored for decades, get the due, get the development, and prosper to justify the legacy of being the spiritual, cultural and religious seat of India and of humanity.

And Modi can be trusted, for his track record, for bringing development to Varanasi, something the city desperately needs, something for which the city has voted him in.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

COUNTING DAY: UPDATES 7 PM TO 9 PM

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

#Congress and #SP rout in #UP makes it family affair for them. They fail to win any other constituency that the seats of Gandhi family (2 seats) and Yadav family (5 seats) members.

#Varanasi @ 7:42 PM: Narendra Modi leads by over 3.36 lakh votes – 516593 votes; Arvind Kejriwal – 179739 votes; Ajai Rai – 68080 votes; BSP – 57531 votes; SP – 42242 votes. Final tally not declared yet.

#Vadodara @ 7:42 PM: Narendra Modi leads by over 5.7 lakh votes – 845464 votes; Madhusudan Mistry of #INC – 275336 votes. Mistry is #Congress’ UP in-charge. Final tally not declared yet.
@ 7:54 PM – #Modi leads his constituencies – #Varanasi by over 3.36 lakh votes and #Vadodara by 5.7 lakh votes. Mulayam leads his constituencies – #Azamgarh by 63000 votes and #Mainpuri by 3.64 lakh votes. The contrast and the difference on the scale of acceptability is clear.

Rahul Gandhi had won Amethi by 3.7 lakh votes in 2009 with 72% vote share. In 2014, his lead @8 PM is 1 Lakh votes, and it is to remain at this level. BJP’s Smriti Irani gave him good fight and run for time and money.

#Modi is expected to get around 60% of votes in Varanasi. Twice before it, candidates in Varanasi have got more than 60% votes – Chandra Shekhar in 1977 (Bhartiya Lok Dal-66.22%) and Anil Shastri in 1989 (Janta Dal-62.31%).

Narendra Modi is now the PM-designate of India. He is expected to take oath on May 21.
He delivered his victory speech in #Vadodara, where, once again, he repeated his favourite line that was just a labourer. Hope, the sanity remains and prevails in the days to come. Hope, he delivers on the sky-high promises and expectation. He needs to deliver for India, for #Varanasi. Otherwise, the trend is becoming clear for the non-performing and manipulating politicians in India.

@ 9 PM – Varanasi tally remains the same – #Modi leads #Varanasi by over 3.36 lakh votes. Arvind Kejriwal is No.2. He did satisfactorily by scoring 1.8 lakh votes. Ajai Rai came a poor 3rd in spite of INC’s all efforts. Thankfully, the regional parties, SP and BSP, with no development agenda were pushed to be at 4th n 5th spots by the voters.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

COUNTING DAY: UPDATES 4 PM TO 7 PM

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

#BJP is to make clean sweep in 6 states, #Gujarat, #Rajasthan, #Delhi, #Uttarakhand, #Himachal Pradesh, #Goa, and 6 union territories (obviously for records only, because except all are single seat constituencies).

#Congress is in imminent danger of losing the ‘leader of opposition’ position. Trends now give it less than 10% of 543 Lok Sabha seats. Having 10% of the seats is the requirement set for a party to have the leader of opposition from its ranks.

Total votes of #Kejriwal, #INC, SP and BSP in #Varanasi, 2.6 lakh, is much less than around 3.5 lakh Muslim votes of Varanasi.

Sonia, Rahul speaking. Take responsibility of Congress drubbing. Let’s see the composition of the message.

#Congress comes 3rd in all seats of #Delhi. From 7-0 in 2009, it is 0-7 for the party now.

Rabri Devi loses. #BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy takes winning lead of over 50000 votes. Lalu’s ‘samosa’ didn’t get extra ‘aalu’ (potato).

#Varanasi @ 5:22 PM: Narendra Modi leads by over 3.12 lakh votes – 484726 votes; Arvind Kejriwal – 172273 votes; Ajai Rai – 65243 votes; BSP – 53944 votes; SP – 40628 votes. #Congress regains 3rd position.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

COUNTING DAY: UPDATES 2 PM TO 4 PM

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

#Varanasi @ 2:09 PM: Narendra Modi leads by over 1.7 lakh votes – 243039 votes; Arvind Kejriwal – 69551 votes; BSP – 29711 votes; Ajai Rai – 26516 votes; SP – 21075 votes.

Jaswant Singh loses #Barmer. He should have won. His #BJP rehabilitation still possible?

Most of the #INC, #Congress young guns bite the dust – most of them the dynasty products – a welcome development.

Arun Jaitley’s loss from #Amritsar was expected. But he is still expected to be among the senior most ministers of Modi Cabinet.

Bravo! Salman Khurshid loses and loses big, deposit forfeited in #Farrukhabad. Now, this is brilliant. Real scoop. Real good news. His arrogance sucks.

#Varanasi @ 3:39 PM: Narendra Modi leads by over 2.5 lakh votes – 357680 votes; Arvind Kejriwal – 106828 votes; BSP – 44671 votes; Ajai Rai – 39723 votes; SP – 30997 votes.

Another arrogant leader of Congress, Mani Shankar Aiyar loses from #Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. He would certainly be thinking about his chai-walla jibe on #Modi.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

COUNTING DAY: UPDATES 12 PM TO 2 PM

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

Rahul Gandhi’s lead in #Amethi is just over 2000 votes as of now. What are we going to have in store?

Varanasi at 11.24 AM: Narendra Modi – 62218 votes; Arvind Kejriwal – 18322 votes; Ajai Rai – 8037 votes; BSP – 5884 votes; SP – 4784 votes.

After the counting day trends, the scramble for Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, is going to make for the headlines next. #ModiCabinet and Modi Cabinet are going to be the top trends.

#BJP wins another much talked about constituency – #Ghaziabad. V K Singh wins by around 50000 votes.

#NarendraModi leading in #Varanasi by 50000 votes as of now. Around 6.5 lakh votes yet to be counted.

Mulayam Singh Yadav leading #Azamgarh by 17000 votes. BSP 2nd. Sitting BJP MP 3rd.

Rajnath Singh leading #Lucknow by 32000 votes. INC 2nd. BSP distant 3rd.

Murli Manohar Joshi poised to win #Kanpur. Joshi leading by 50000 votes with 1.33 lakh votes. Sriprakash Jaiswal 2nd. BSP distant 3rd.

#BJP poised to win riots affected #Muzaffarnagar from #BSP. Polarisation worked.

#NarendraModi formally wins #Varanasi. That was beyond doubt. Let’s see the final tally on margin. It should justify the Modi Wave. BSP won it last time.

#BJP winning another riots affected seat, #Kairana. BJP candidate leading the constituency with the winning majority of over 1.3 lakh votes. BSP won it last time.
#Results2014, #Verdict2014

Given the defining trends, it is to be said now the Modi Factor could transform into ‘Modi Wave’ to sweep India. India is going to have its most stable govt in 30 years (after 1984) decades. And moreover, it is going to be largely free of coalition compulsions.

Sonia Gandhi gains winning lead in Rae Bareli. But, can she equal the 3.72 lakh margin of 2009. She got 72% votes while the runner-up could get 16% votes.

#UP, #Bihar game-plan clicks for the #BJP, playing pivotal role in BJP’s never before seen, stellar performance.

#Varanasi @ 1:09 PM: Narendra Modi leads by over 1.14 lakh votes – 167646 votes; Arvind Kejriwal – 53540 votes; BSP – 21361 votes; Ajai Rai – 19669 votes; SP – 16305 votes. #Congress pushed to 4th place by votes as of now.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

COUNTING DAY: UPDATES TILL 12 PM

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

Party hopper, alliance hopper, and one of the most well read of the politicians, and the civil aviation minister, Ajit Singh loses Baghpat. The Harit Pradesh politics is to heat up, courtesy his increases spare time now.

#NarendraModi wins #Vadodara by margin of over 4 lakh votes.

Counting Day trends are bettering the Exit Polls projections for #BJP and #NDA as of now. And #UPA big guns are trailing.

Sanjay Jha is on Times Now. How stubborn and silly at times #INC makes its spokespersons, Jha is a classic example. And INC (Indian National Congress) has plenty of them.

‘Save Rahul’ scramble to come in its totality.

#BJP wins #Chandigarh. Railgate eats into Pawan Bansal’s pie.

It would be interesting to hear the Congressmen like Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma, Sanjay Jha, Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh, Randeep Surjewala, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Janardhan Dwivedi, Salman Soj and yes, Ajay Maken. Grab them. Don’t let them disappear like #SoniaGandhi and #RahulGandhi disappeared from the posters at #INC HQ.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

RAHUL’S ROAD-SHOW IN VARANASI: FIRST HALF OF MAY 10 – LAST DAY OF CAMPAIGNING IN VARANASI

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

The last day of campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Varanasi began with Rahul Gandhi’s road-show continuing the series of high voltage political drama that started unveiling in the religious and spiritual capital of India on May 7 when Amethi voted in the 8th phase of the polls.

Today’s road-show of Rahul Gandhi was less of a solidarity show for the Congress candidate from Varanasi, Ajai Rai, and more of a tit-for-tat reply to Narendra Modi’s election event in Amethi that drew huge crowd there.

Before Narendra Modi’s Amethi move, Ajai Rai was sounding like a lost voice on his demand for campaigning by the Nehru-Gandhi family and other top brass of the Congress party in the city. No one paid attention to him.

But Modi’s Amethi rally left the Congress party no option but to take charge directly against Modi in Varanasi in order to look and sound unfazed by the Modi Factor. And Rahul was chosen to lead the front for obvious reasons.

Anyway, given the pro-Modi sentiments in Varanasi and an intensive campaigning by Arvind Kejriwal, especially for the minority votes, the route of Rahul’s rally was chosen that covered areas with dense Muslim population, so as to move and mobilize the crowd to the road-show, from Peeli Kothi/Gol Gadda area (Muslim dominated localities) on the outskirts of the city (on the Rajghat side) to the Lanka gate of Banaras Hindu University. Then there were other Muslim dominated localities, Beniabagh, Nai Sadak and Madanpura, en-route to maintain the momentum.

And this strategy coupled with Ajai Rai’s local support did work to gather enough momentum to bring enough people to Rahul’s road-show. But, in totality, it was like the crowds seen during Kejriwal’s road-show yesterday, successful on election campaigning parameters, but no match to Modi’s massive show of strength in his road-show on May 8 that was technically not a road-show given the fact he was denied permission for the same and is now facing allegations of violating the Section 144.

But the success of Rahul’s road-show raises the obvious point – if not too little, it is certainly too late. Had it been held earlier, could it have helped Ajai Rai and Congress to position better against a formidable rival whose win from Varanasi is written beyond any doubt? Ajai Rai will be pinning his hope on the show now to help him become the Number 2 in the constituency.

Meanwhile, the routine political events continued. Other candidates continued with their campaigning. BJP pitched up its rhetoric against the Election Commission and the Varanasi district administration for allowing rallies of Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav to pass through Beniabagh while denying Modi for the same. The Election Commission appointing a special poll observer for Varanasi is being seen as resulting from the pressure mounted by the BJP coupled with Election Commissioner HS Brahma’s stand criticising the Election Commission stand on the issue of Modi’s election events in Varanasi on May 8.

Then, further in the day – the day has in store two other big political events – a road-show by Akhilesh Yadav and another road-show by Arvind Kejriwal.

While the Akhilesh’s road-show has begun, reports say Kejriwal may not participate in the AAP road-show as he is not well. He did hold an election meeting in the Pandeypur area of the city in the first half of the day but his health may not permit him for the road-show before the campaigning ends at 5 PM.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAY 9: DAY 3 IN VARANASI, BEFORE THE CAMPAIGNING ENDS ON MAY 10

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

May 9, the penultimate day of campaigning in Varanasi (before the campaigning ends on May 10) witnessed the expected high profile, high pitched political events.

Narendra Modi addressed five rallies, 2 in Eastern Uttar Pradesh (in Mirzapur and Ghazipur, adjoining areas of Varanasi) and 3 in Bihar, and the issue of denial of permission to his election events in Varanasi on May 8 was the major element in each.

BJP continued protesting and demanding the Varanasi DM’s removal. On the contrary, as reported, the DM sent a report to the Central Election Commission on Modi’s road-show yesterday on violation of Section 144.

The CEC maintained its stand on defending the acts of the DM. Meanwhile a report came that claimed that some security personnel from Gujarat had claimed security threat for Modi with Beniabagh rally venue.

The other major Varanasi-centric event of the day was Arvind Kejriwal’s road-show in Varanasi. Though some reports claimed the road-show attracted huge crowd, the situation on ground was not corresponding.

It was sad to see the surroundings when the road-show began. There were not enough people, not enough even to count for the reported 5000 AAP volunteers camping in the city, who have come to the city there from different parts of the city. Looking at the convoy and thinking of the window of opportunity that the AAP experiment could have been, it indeed felt like a sad day for the long awaited experiment with democracy in India.

Though, the road-show got more people on its sides as the evening progressed, it was in patches and was nowhere near to the consistent and spontaneous crowds seen May 8 evening during Narendra Modi’s road-show.

The day also saw an event that unfortunately, has become an AAP trademark – gaining publicity and sympathy through controversy by creating public spectacle. Raghu Ram, AAP member and MTV Roadies judge, alleged that he and Gul Panag were attacked (manhandled) by some BHU students.

Gul Panag later tweeted denying it. But the claim of manhandling with Mr. Raghu Ram maintained its stand. Now, it is to be seen in the context that Raghu Ram has had history of making such cheap publicity claims. In 2011, after claiming, he denied that his face was blackened by the ABVP activists. He cannot be trusted.

Instead, Banarasis and BHU should denounce such people who try to defame the place and its institutions. No doubt there are many faults and layers of wrongs with Banaras and BHU but none make for the kind of cheap allegations put forward by the AAP’s spokesperson and Raghu Ram.

Banaras is any thing but certainly not this – an unrestricted, unconstrained badland of uncontrolled people. AAP and other politicians should seek forgiveness for dragging BHU in this silly political game.

But it is not going to end here. Today’s events are going to be like it has been since May 7. Rahul Gandhi’s road-show is scheduled to begin this morning from the city’s outskirts on Rajghat’s side (Peeli Kothi) and will conclude at the Lanka Gate of BHU. And to add to the heat, there would be other planned and unplanned political events.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MODI’S MASSIVE ROAD-SHOW: DAY 2 IN VARANASI, BEFORE THE CAMPAIGNING ENDS ON MAY 10

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

Modi’s road-show in Varanasi, from the helipad of Banaras Hindu University to the city office of the BJP, and the huge crowd moving with it is a classic case of how the decisions taken in frustration and panic boomerang – in this case the initial denial of the permission to the rallies of Narendra Modi in Varanasi and the subsequent flip-flop by the Varanasi district administration resulting in the delayed permission over Modi’s rallies that boomeranged and hit back massively.

And the way the BJP has exploited the developments, it shows undoubtedly a sound presence of mind and an equally sound campaign management by the BJP core team.

It is praiseworthy if seen from a neutral analytical perspective.

If seen from the campaign management angle, the refusal of the ‘delayed’ permission for Modi’s Beniabagh rally and Ganga Aarti by the BJP was a masterstroke, a deft move that resulted in an almost 5 Kms long road-show with people on both sides of the road that just ended after spending quite a long time (over 3 hours) on Varanasi roads.

And there was much more crowd on the roads and in the streets than it was visible on the TV screens.

The flip-flop by the district administration and also by the Election Commission gave the BJP an opportunity to create a media spectacle of playing the victim card that sidelined any possibility of the steps that the administration could have taken in the name of maintaining law and order situation asking Narendra Modi to avoid the road-show.

Managing the crowd at Narendra Modi’s rally was much easier than managing the people’s outpour throughout the stretch of Modi’s trip to the BJP office.

The fact that Modi’s caravan crisscrossed the city through its most crowded areas like Sonarpura, Shivala, Godowlia and Luxa, and that too, during the rush evening hours, when traffic moves inch by inch, only exacerbated the misery of the city administration as it could not say no to Modi after the fiasco yesterday.

Any more ‘no’ could have resulted in more protests by the BJP compounding the gains from the wave of sympathy (obviously due to the ‘victim card’ that the BJP earned yesterday) when the polls were just three days away.

And this trip, from the BHU helipad to the central election office of the BJP in Varanasi, that was technically not a road-show, indeed became a massive show of strength with people thronging the Modi cavalcade throughout the entire stretch.

Narendra Modi and the BJP score handsomely here.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/