[ Tongam Rina ]
With elections scheduled for 11 April, it is unlikely that the politics of political parties will leave you alone; even if you do not want to get involved.
Every nook and corner of the state is plastered with posters of candidates intending to stand for the elections.
Interestingly, there are several candidates for the same party and all the candidates are aggressively pitching their candidatures.
It must be an annoying pounding headache for the party leaders to choose one candidate from among so many aspirants. There will be several standards to select a candidate-with the ability to win being one- if not the most important criteria.
The BJP currently has many ticket seekers. Almost all the constituencies have over two persons seeking nominations. This is such a transformation from four years ago when the party did not have enough candidates to contest the 60 seats.
The BJP had fielded 42 candidates, of which 11 candidates had won.
However, within a span of merely two years, the party made it to power, thanks to the invisible trait often referred to as ‘a turncoat.’
On the other hand, the Congress that won 42 seats in 2014 is now left with just five.
The PPA that returned five MLAs of the 16 candidates it fielded is without a single MLA!
Record 11 candidates were elected unopposed five years ago, but it is unlikely for the trend to continue this year given the changed political atmosphere in the state.
While the main electoral show will be between the BJP and Congress, the National People’s Party (NPP) is another party to watch out for. Those who fail to get Congress or BJP nominations would most likely find a place in the NPP as their preferred party, followed by the PPA, JDS and JDU.
As is ritualistic every five years, political parties in this election shall in all probability simply serve as launch pads to the legislative assembly, for most of the legislators.
Though currently bickering in the state, the BJP, NPP, PPA are the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) partners.
While the picture will be clearer in the next one week as to who gets to represent which party, campaigns have already started. Deals are being struck, money is changing hands and liquor is flowing like the river on spat.
While the debate on how the whole process of monetizing the votes started, it is a popular trend, which is here to stay. In most constituencies how much money a candidate is able to dole out will ultimately decides the result.
In a recent poll on whether the readers would accept money in lieu of vote, a decent 971 votes of the total 1606 that polled (which is roughly 60% of the total) said that they would not vote for money. However, around 40 percent of those who participated in the poll said that they would vote for money.
The ‘cash for vote’ excuse was that elected representatives do not do anything substantial for the development of their constituencies or the state.
To do away with such silly excuses, elected representatives need rigorous lessons on accountability. The onus now lies on the voters to ensure that accountability is the norm and not the exception.