In India, 81 crore voters will use their franchise to cast the vote in a 36 day saga starting next month..! The numbers of this whole process is a staggering one, with 10 crore new voters than the last general election, more than 90 lake polling stations, millions of polling officers, many many wanna be representatives.. (The numbers and candidates list are not yet fully out.)
I am a voter, with my mind not yet fixed on any single party to vote. The constituency is Palakkad, the Ottapalam constituency being dissolved before the last general elections. The sitting MP is M.B Rajesh from the left front. As an MP, He has asked questions, participated in debates and is an educated MP with Marxist ideology. Also, his alma mater is 5kms from my home. More details at http://www.prsindia.org/mptrack/loksabha . You should check your representative also there. My MP’s achievements are mostly unknown to me with the manifesto not yet out. But one tangible achievement for people of Ottapalam by the MP is to create stops for two long distance trains at Ottapalam. All signs point to the fact that he will contest again with LDF ticket.
So, as things stand with candidates list not yet out, I wanted to make a clear picture of my mind and put it in words. The signs point to INC giving the Palakkad seat to Socialist junta or JD(U). Also, RMP, the party of slain TP Chandrasekharan may contest here. The issue is not hot cake here as it is in North Malabar. The other entrant might be the AAP, still the dark horse in Indian politics and this upcoming elections. Also, the Modi factor and BJP, still looking for that elusive single seat in Kerala.
With, NSS opting for equidistance, Chances for BJP are still slim even after SNDP embracing them. The situations may be different only in Kasargod, or else I am deeply undermining the Modi factor.
Since, the congress not opting to stand here, the traditional voters of congress may look elsewhere in this constituency. The Kasturirangan report being the sole major aspect and might swing either to either of the political spectrum in this election. My personal opinion about ecologically sensitive areas is to shut them up for commercial interests. I had imagined left parties to go along with the report, but what was seen was, an opposition as it will go with a general trend of anti-people propaganda of the Govt.
To protect the biodiversity and richness of Kerala’s forests, rivers are the most pro-people ideology left can take. Alas. Disappointment.
LDF will definitely show a better prospect than last time around whatever be the case as they did in Assembly elections. One aspect of Keralites opting to vote for INC last time was the fact that, despite being opponents at the state level, LDF supported the UPA government in 2004 from outside. That won’t bear fruit for the people with benefits of ministerial positions. That is what happened in 2009, with many ministers from the state of Kerala, though few are from the RS as well.
The plank of corruption is indeed a major one at the centre and rest of India. People in Kerala are already politically active unlike the rest of the country. So, the AAP factor may not be as huge as it was in Delhi. Though, there are big names contesting, and many in Kerala are idealists themselves, they may feel a pull towards it. The negative thing is that they don’t have clear policies in many areas. Foreign policy, Death penalty, Press Freedom, the IT act, 66A etc. Personally, Their policies of barge in may not work well in diplomatic channel with foreign delegations!
Well, they may answer many of that in party manifesto.. Let’s wait till that.
The leadership aspect of INC is indeed in crisis. There is this alternating views on the charisma of RG, then sometimes his anarchist methods as he did at a press conference. Then there is his ‘not to the point’ answers at the infamous interview. MMS himself is out of question, and whatever good name he had got lost with his knowledge of approving projects without environment clearances, sacking of petroleum minister etc. and god knows about the truth behind the 2G scam.
BJP and Congress are not that different, very much evident with who they are aligning with in TN. Vaiko, Vijayakanth and PMK cadres are all very rough and will resort to violence with slight hint of criticism and you will be showcased with chauvinism and intolerance. The BJP fielding Yeddy in Karnataka is another feather in their corruption cap. Also, they both are pro-business. Meaning both align towards right.
Modi and his brigade in social media are so active that I feel like I want him to be the PM, thankfully my sanity returns after a while. The secularism plank by other parties are also part of cheap politics making Modi and BJP atleast look truthful. My biggest criticism against BJP is their single view of India’s history.
India loves icons, whether it is MK Gandhi, Nehru, Indira, Sachin, Modi or Kejriwal. We love to raise them to a pedestal. That is why Modi is so endearing to many. The PR campaign of RG is already at loss in that race of creating an icon out of him.
My mind is still considering options, it may still be thinking even after all the candidates are fixed. But the biggest revelation in these elections will not be Modi, AAP or anything, but NOTA. And I am thankful for the biggest democracy for that.
P.S: I don’t believe participation in democracy is over with just voting, I believe it exists everyday with every penny you pay and every word you say…!
“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato