Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
The simultaneous elections in Arunachal Pradesh were notified on 10 March. After frenzied campaigning for about 31 days, elections were successfully conducted in the state on 11 April for 60 assembly and two Lok Sabha constituencies.
For the two Lok Sabha seats, 12 candidates are in the fray. Three BJP candidates have won elections unopposed. For the remaining 57 of the 60 assembly seats, 181 candidates are in the race. The party-wise breakdown is: BJP 60 seats, Congress 46, National People’s Party 30 candidates, Janata Dal (U) 15, Janata Dal (S) 12, and PPA.
The state witnessed 77.38 percent voting by about 8 lakh voters, conducted at 2202 polling stations across the state. About 15000 officials and officers deputed from other states/Centre as observers and expenditure observers were deployed for the elections. About 45 companies of the central police forces, like the CRPF and the IRBn, along with over 7000 state civil police personnel were deployed for the elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Amit Shah and film stars also campaigned in the state. However, re-polling was conducted in 133 booths due to damage/malfunctioning of EVMs.
The enthusiasm for voting was so great that many polling stations witnessed voting till late into the night – in some places upto midnight. Many students also returned back from various parts of the country and the state to cast their valuable votes. However, there was violence and arson during polling and re-polling at a few polling stations in a few districts.
The counting day being 23 May, there are just a few days left for knowing the fate of the candidates for the state assembly and the LS, which is are sealed inside the EVMs. Finally, there will be only 60 winning candidates from the assembly constituencies and two in the LS constituencies. The remaining 131 candidates would have lost the elections.
The political parties and candidates along with their supporters are all praying to the almighty for winning the elections, with a few even visiting shamans, tantriks, astrologers, etc. Whichever candidates win, the winners must be mature enough to carry along all citizens of their constituencies. The candidates must remember that after winning the elections they represent the entire constituency, not just their party or followers. Since the winner represents the entire constituency, the candidate should transform into a true leader and unite the constituency without discriminating based on party affiliations.
The newly elected candidates and the newly formed government should work for progress, development, peace and stability in the state. Since the state is mainly dependent on funding from the central government, the new government must plan and work towards bringing Arunachal Pradesh at par with other states of the mainland in terms of roads, power supply, infrastructure, education, health, industries, tourism, horticulture, agriculture, etc.
The next elections are planned after 5 years. The new voters after five years are likely to be more literate and more aware. The winning candidates must realize that they have to face another election after five years, and that the new voters are watching.(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)