BJP advertisements yanked off Pakistani websitesMay 16th, 2009 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, May 16 (IANS) Advertisements prominently featuring Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and promising a “strong leader, decisive government” were quickly yanked off prominent Pakistani news websites Saturday as the results of India’s general elections came in, pointing to the return of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition.
The BJP had bought space on prominent websites like The News and Dawn, partly to counter its “Hindu nationalist” image, in a bid to assuage fears in Pakistan of a “fundamentalist” wave sweeping India in case it came to power, as also to reach out to Indian readers who regularly access these sites for news on happenings in Pakistan.
The BJP, however, beat a hasty retreat once the election results started to come in, with The News quoting its president Rajnath Singh conceding that the verdict was not on “expected lines”.
More than one Pakistani website chose to be rather churlish in reporting the election results.
Sample this from The Nation, at a time when it was clear that the UPA would face no hitch in forming a new government:
“India’s ruling Congress-led coalition was in a clear lead over its Hindu nationalist rivals, early trends showed on Saturday, as counting of votes from a mammoth general election began. No alliance is expected to win a clear majority forcing both the Congress led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party led by L.K. Advani to look for support from smaller groups in a possible weak coalition,” The Nation said.
The A Pakistan News website was in similar mode, saying neither the UPA or the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was expected to get the the 272 seats needed for a parliamentary majority, “leaving the balance of power in the hands of a multitude of regional parties.
“By tradition, the party winning the most seats has first right to try to form a government but both Congress and the BJP are sure to make a play for power no matter which emerges as the largest single party on Saturday. If the two main alliances fail to make a breakthrough, the path to power might open up for the Third Front. But such a coalition would suffer from the large number of disparate parties it would need to form a government.
“The wheeling and dealing is likely to last some time with June 2 the constitutional deadline for forming the new government,” A Pakistan News said.
Dawn chose the safe path, carrying a factual news agency report headlined “Congress set to return to power in India”.
The official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) news agency played with a straight bat, running a series of factual reports as the election results unfolded.
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