Delhi-based Hamara Samaj on February 11 and several others highlighted Omar Abdullah’s statement on the increased “alienation of Kashmir” after Afzal Guru’s hanging. Commenting on the political dimensions of the hanging, Rashtriya Sahara, in an editorial on February 10, writes: “It is believed that not executing the death sentence of Afzal Guru had become an effective weapon for the BJP and Shiv Sena... the hanging has also made the threat of a Parliament logjam irrelevant if the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi do not apologise for Home Minister Shinde’s statement that RSS camps were training grounds for terrorism.”
Inquilab, in its editorial on February 12, says: “Afzal Guru’s hanging has been made the subject of politics... There is no doubt that the UPA government, under the leadership of the Congress, has stunned the nation by executing, on a priority basis, the death sentence of Guru... The BJP welcomed it initially, but on realising that doing so would ‘politically benefit’ the Congress, it changed the gear and made the delay in [his] hanging a target of criticism.”
The question of the NDA’s PM candidate has been the subject of much discussion, with most papers discounting the possibility that it could be Gujarat CM Narendra Modi because of internal differences within the NDA.
Rashtriya Sahara, in its February 12 editorial, writes: “Some observers have commented that the meaning of (Nitish) Kumar’s silence is that he has accepted Modi’s candidature. But the statement of JD(U) president and NDA convener, Sharad Yadav, to the effect that making noises about anybody’s name... is baseless and unwise, has punctured such speculation. Yadav’s view on some corporations indulging in propaganda is an open warning and means those tossing around Modi’s name are trying to create a dangerous situation.” The daily Siasat, commenting on Yashwant Sinha’s demand after Rajnath Singh’s election as BJP president that Modi’s name be announced, writes: “Yashwant Sinha is not a product of the RSS. He is a former socialist... Also, he has the latent desire to become PM. Thus, his support for Modi is surprising.” According to Jamaat-e-Islami’s Daawat, whenever Modi’s name comes up, there are differences within the BJP and NDA: “When he is not acceptable to his own party and the NDA, how can he be acceptable to the country?”
Commenting on the ordinance to check rape and sexual assault, following the Verma committee report, Siasat, in an editorial on February 3, writes: “By promulgating the ordinance, the government has tried to send the message that it is serious about the security of its citizens, particularly women. Many organisations... have drawn attention to the causes of the present problems of security of women. But action... has to be initiated by individuals...”. Delhi-based Nai Duniya, edited by former Samajwadi Party leader, Shahid Siddiqui, says: “What is of utmost significance is that there is great need for framing laws, but more important is an effort to awaken a collective conscience that... does not rely on legal constraints alone.”
A front page anchor in Sahafat (February 4) says: “Riding to power on a bicycle, Akhilesh Yadav, may be ruling in the most populous state... But on the social networking site Facebook, his wife and MP Dimple Yadav has left him behind. Dimple’s page has been ‘liked’ by about 20,000 netizens whereas the technology savvy ‘socialist’ CM lags behind with only 8,000 admirers.”
Compiled by Seema Chishti