Cleansing the election process: Opportunity in 2018 Assembly Elections!
4 more state elections in 2018: How it willl change the political equations: Another set of state elections is due in 2018
Cleansing the election process
This refers to the story “The next political challenge” (Business Standard, Politics & public affairs, December 18) analyzing the status and prospects of fortunes of a cross-section of political combinations in Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura. The 2018 Assembly elections should be taken as an opportunity to change the perceptions about the electoral processes in the minds of people.
There was a visible change in the conduct of political parties across denominations in the 2014 elections. The reference is to the focus on issues at that time, thanks to the influence of India Against Corruption (IAC) movement and the urge for change generated by a static governance machinery at the Centre. Three years down the line, the experience of the just concluded Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections makes one feel that politics in India has not absorbed the lessons of 2014. The same old blame games, caste and creed issues, anxiety to retain power at any cost and absence of issue-based campaign marked the 2017 Assembly elections.
As democratic institutions in India mature, we need to show to the world that we are capable of informed debates on issues both in legislatures and on streets (during elections). An impression is gaining that money power is getting precedence over talent, selection of candidates for constituencies is being guided by chances of X to win attracting votes from a particular class of voters who have a dominating presence in the constituency. Political parties should sit together and discuss how such apprehensions can be allayed. There is also need to bring down cost incurred by candidates fighting elections. Here, unless all political parties cooperate, thresholds and guidelines from Election Commission will continue to get violated in spirit.
2018 Assembly elections should be seen as an opportunity to bring about changes.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram