Election Bazar in Full Swing
When the whole of humanity is struggling hard against the crisis of the second wave of COVID- 19, four states and one UT are facing assembly elections. The elections in Bharat are equally challenging for the citizens, political parties and authorities, who are conducting the show. It’s really a very daunting task to control the citizens not to attend any mass rally or stay away from exercising their democratic rights. In Bharat, elections are like a festival, where all the participants of democracy involve themselves in organising public rallies, road shows and violence. The administration and the constitutional authorities sometimes happen to be on crossroads to conduct a free and fair election. The most violence-prone state now is West Bengal, where thousands of people are murdered, high-profile leaders are attacked, and this may be one of the reasons the EC is conducting the elections in eight phases to minimise the political violence. In Bengal, Mamta Didi is in no mood to listen to anyone as to how to curb political violence. In fact, Mamta Banerjee is truly following in the footsteps of the earlier Left Front government regimes, of which she herself was the victim of violence. She has the proper idea as to how to win the elections by hook and by crook, as she learned the tactic from her predecessor Left Front regime. Political situation on the ground clearly sends a message that people in Bengal want peace now and Bengalis deserve a development plank. Bijli, sadak and pani along with social harmony is the need of the hour in Mamata land so as to convert Bengal into a Tagore’s land.The Modi factor has a great impact among the youths and the rural Bengalis are literally crying for bringing peace and tranquility back. The Amit Shah Strategy has convinced the Bengalis that It is only Modi who can restore the name and fame of Bengal. Now Didi is scared of the BJP and that’s why ‘Jai Shri Ram” chanting has become allergic to her. However, for the BJP, it is an uphill task to bring the voters to the polling booths for safe voting. Tamil Nadu is the state, where Hindi-speaking leaders do not attract people. But this will be the first time in 40 years that elections are going to be held without Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. This time too, the competition is only between AIADMK and DMK. The DMK and the Congress are contesting the elections here, while the BJP is in alliance with the AIADMK. In the absence of a face like Jayalalithaa or Karunanidhi, time will tell who the public chooses.
Here, it is worthwhile mentioning that the Congress, in West Bengal, has formed an alliance with the Left Front, against whom it is contesting elections in Kerala. Against this backdrop, it is apt to say, if the Congress sacrifices its long-term interests for short-term gains, it is looking at a very bleak future. All the country over, it has been ceding space not to opposition parties but to its so-called allies, some of whom are former Congressmen. Its umbrella vote bank of backwards has shrunk in the country. Yet unmindful of the grassroots-level reality, it is allying with the same parties, which have eaten into its vote-bank, for short-term electoral gains in election after election, and look, where it stands today. For the Congress to rejuvenate itself and project as a credible alternative, it has to do two things: one, permanently cast away the bondage to the “family”; two, unmindful of the short-term pain, the new and capable leader should work sincerely to get the party going from grassroots level. Having said this, the split Opposition in the country is striving hard to chalk out a way to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s powerful Bharatiya Janata Party. If one interprets the mood of the electorate of the four states and one UT that are going to elections, the M-factor may work wonders.
By Deepak Kumar Rath