PERTINENT ELECTION ISSUES.
In every political election - notwithstanding what type of elections they are – Money is spent – I won’t call it is invested. Immaterial who spends it, but naturally it is ultimately from National exchequer. Who bothers???
Should these NGOs calling themselves a watch dog, not take note of all these activities and raise questions and issues regarding this? The question is why?
Answer to the question is - Because of the following reasons:-
1. They form parties and contest elections but then switch over to another, post elections for may be some personal benefits – disregarding the public mandate given to him/her on a poll plank from a party specific. It is understood that the leader elected supported the ideology of the party on whose ticket the leader contested. Why such elected representative should not be debarred from being the elected () make election Null and void) and not be charged for reimbursing the share of poll expenses incurred and full expenses of the polls to be conducted for re-election in the specific area poll expenses.
2. Some small local parties show alliance to a specific party before elections and then switch over to the largest party elected again for personal benefits of the leaders who count/ matter. Why should this be declared un- ethical and declare null and voids the election of all their members en-masse. Moreover why the party should not be asked to pay for polls held and to be held together with a penalty clause.
3. There are leaders who contest for more than one location. Obviously one seat has to be vacated retaining the choice seat. Why the extra expenses incurred for elections from two seats i.e ballot paper size, printing, handling etc should not recovered from the candidate contesting from all but for one seat. And also the cost of elections to be conducted at the seats he vacates after winning will also be charged to the candidate.
4. There are independents who don’t join a party and wish to join support one as per their decision on a later date. Here neither the candidate joins a party nor announces support of any party and is contesting free of any bonding with the political parties. Such candidate runs the larger risk of losing to candidates supported by the party and hence reserves his right to lend support to / oppose any party in position or opposition on issue / merit based. But once an independent candidate joins a party after election results, the election charges as the case may be for pre and post shall become chargeable.
Now come the issue of manifesto –
1. Every party issues their election manifesto. Some of the issues are mentioned very sincerely, some half heartedly and some casually for their existence. But fulfilling then – as promised in manifesto is no one’s responsibility. If taken care party takes credit and on failure they simply shirk the responsibility. I was happy hearing from opposition and congress members charging Mr. Kejariwal for not able to meet the promises and Kejariwal trying to justify himself and the party. Why such things / debates were missing all these years. Why should not opposition charge the ruling party in position regarding their manifesto time to time – not only in the next elections? One has to believe that quite many manifesto agenda are common and at least those can be reminded for public interest, which I feel they are elected for. As is said in a Hindi saying the pratinidhi is becoming nidhi pati. And hence the all the issues.
2. Candidates elected by public request (literally Beg_ for votes before elections and then they become authorities and public begs from them. It is well forgotten by leaders and public as well that they are the public servants and not that public is servant to them.
3. In all the government offices, state /central public sector offices, govt. aided agency’s offices all are Adhikaris – why?? They should be sevaks. Once you call them adhikaris they tend to yield authoritative approach and see to it that the public feel that they are servants. The case needs to be discussed at several levels of forums and conscious decision needs to be taken as a reform in the system.
4. The leaders have applied for “sevaks” as pratinidhi and they must behave so not becoming Nidhipati – and the public should react and should not allow their transition from pratinidhi to nidhipati.
5. Recently there was a meeting summoned by Chief Election commissioner for deliberating on Manifesto document in principle. It was suggested that the parties should owe responsibility to what has been mentioned in the manifesto document and if anything remains un-fulfilled – it should feel responsible and duly explain to the masses about the reasons of not fulfilling completely or in case of failure the cause of the same. But it is reported in the TV channels that except BSP no party wanted to be committal to the manifesto document. It is really surprising that a national party does not want to owe responsibility of their manifesto document. Then this is only ornamental??? Why spend time and money on that. It is nothing but befooling the people beyond the reach of these information and they take it to be poll promises which they are not. It is only a non committal statement.
Some suggestions as reforms:--
In all the parties with various identification and ideologies, manifestos contest the elections and then form Groups like present UPA and NDA – conglomerations consisting of a main ruling party or opposition party aligned with other local/national parties having lesser success in the elections. The independents join the groups as supporters.
I would like to suggest that these groups discuss their manifestos amongst and come to a conclusion of agenda points in the seriatim of preferences. And then at the national level the agenda of ruling and opposition be discussed in the parliament (or assembly for that matter) and decided priority wise how to take them up. At least the country will be able to understand how much these parties have performed and in case any of the agenda could not be implemented then the parliament as a whole should communicate to the population about the constraints and reasons.