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Will ‘Rafale’ & ‘Balakot Air Strikes’ Have An Impact On Upcoming Elections?

07 March 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: Generally general elections are deemed to be fought over general issues pertaining to the common concerns of the general public while the 2019 Lok Sabha poll seems all set to be fought over the controversial ‘Rafale’ deal as well as the politically contentious ‘Balakot Air Strikes’ effected by incumbent PM Modi’s NDA Government.

‘Patriotism’ and ‘Nationalism’ have now taken the centrestage post Pulwama Terror Attack with the tug of war mounting between Team PM Modi and Opposition parties, especially Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

Even today Rahul Gandhi has come down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ‘missing’ of most important Rafale documents as evident from the Centre’s deposition in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Rahul is quoted saying, “Let there be investigation about the documents but at the same time also investigate the Prime Minister's role in the Rafale (deal)."

Under such a political scenario, the ace question that quizzes the conscious electorate and intelligentsia revolves round the raging debates on ‘Rafale’ and ‘Balakot Air Strikes’ and whether they would impact the upcoming elections.

In his reactions, senior journalist and political analyst Prashant Pattnaik said, “Various political parties are highlighting various issues for the ensuing election in bid to influence people’s opinion. Hence, the people will decide on the real issue.”

He commented, “When the common man is longing for or worried about their minimum needs and basic amenities, Rafale deal is being thrust on them. The common men are least bothered about Rafale deal. Even the common man is least concerned about the IAF air strikes on the terror camps of Pakistan.”

He further commented, “Only for influencing the intellectuals as well as the general public, both Congress and BJP are playing politics. In love and war, everything is possible and also everything is justified. Thus, the only aim and objective of the political parties is to influence and lure the people so that power can be captured.”

“In this context, the people are the best judges. Hence, it all depends on the people whom to support,” remarked the senior scribe.

Another senior journalist and political expert reacted, “The two prime political parties, BJP and Congress, are keen on milking political mileage from these two issues. Ruling BJP is striving to muster maximum political gain from the Balakot Air Strikes. On the other hand, Congress is also striving for the same by raking up the controversial Rafale deal.”

“These two issues pertaining to national defence will certainly have a deep impact on the upcoming general election,” he opined.

He stated, “Assembly polls were conducted in the five states. Congress party was the gainer by ousting BJP. Popularity of Modi Sarkar is on a speedy wane while Congress is improving. Hence, the Pulwama attack and martyrdom of 40 Indian soldiers are being a whirlwind and cyclonic fuel for politicking and reaping benefits out of it.”

“However, the fact will definitely lay bare before the general public or voters before the election. Accordinlgy, the people will exercise their voting right. Time will tell who reaps the political profit from it. The results of the election will be the ultimate evidence,” remarked the senior scribe.

Notwithstanding that, a quintessential quote from the great English bard William Shakepeare’s famous tragic play “Julius Ceasar” may be cited here: “Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind.

And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so.

How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”

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Prashant Pattnaik, Senior Journalist

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Prabhukalyan Mohapatra, Senior Journalist