The political atmosphere is heating up in the state because of the coming panchayat and municipal elections. The ruling BJP has already issued party tickets for both. Attempts are reportedly being made to ensure that the ruling party candidates win most of the seats uncontested, which is really unfortunate. There are reports that opposition candidates are being coerced to step back by offering benefits in return. This kind of practice is against the democratic norms. However, the BJP alone cannot be blamed for it.
It was the Congress party in the 2014 assembly election that started the culture of electing MLAs unopposed. The BJP, which had bitterly opposed such culture then, is now following the same trend to retain power. The panchayat election is a celebration of grassroots democracy. In the past, many of the leaders used to enter politics by first contesting the panchayat election. Still now it is a great platform for the people who want to serve the society at the grassroots. Therefore it is absolutely wrong to promote the culture of getting candidates elected unopposed in the panchayat election. For a healthy democracy, let there be a proper election, and may the best candidates win. The opposition parties like the Congress, the JD (U), the NPP, the PPA, etc, should put up candidates in the panchayat and municipal elections. They should not succumb to pressure tactics of the ruling party.