Who will become MLA/MP?

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

The election results are only few days away. The simultaneous elections for the Assembly and the Lok Sabha were held in Arunachal Pradesh on 19 April,2024. The elections for the Lok Sabha across the nation are still ongoing with the last phase planned on 1 June.

For Arunachal, with 10 MLA candidates elected unopposed, 14 candidates for two Lok Sabha seats and 133 candidates for the remaining 50 MLA constituencies are tensely waiting for the results. The results of the Assembly elections in Arunachal would be taken up on 2 June, after a tense wait of 42 days.

With counting planned to start early in the morning at 6 am on 2 June, majority trends and results would be available by midday, and it would be clear about which party would be forming the government in Arunachal. With most results indicated by midday,candidates would be either rejoicing or gloomy.

However, it was revealed that humongous amounts of money were used in these elections. As per reports, most candidates spent tens to hundreds of crores of rupees during the elections for campaigning and to managing greedy voters. Many voters, including youths, voted for money power instead of voting for development, ideology, peace, etc. The festival of democracy transformed into a festival of money. It was seen that the bazaars of towns were filled with buyers from villages spending their easily earned ‘election money’. Markets are full of people buying smartphones, laptops, trunks, almirahs, refrigerators, generators, vehicles, etc. There was a feeling of déjà vu that pilfered public money has gone back to the actual public.

On 2 June, the fates of the candidates contesting the 50 MLA seats will be revealed. Election officers, candidates, and election agents would be monitoring the counting of votes with eagle eyes. By midday or afternoon there would be clarity about most winning candidates. The winning candidate, their family members, friends and supporters would rejoice with cheering, sloganeering and parties. For the winning candidates, the rejoicing and partying would continue for days, months and years.

The losing candidates would be saddened and gloomy. They would have lost not only the elections, but also lot of money, property and pride. Many of the losing candidates would go back to empty houses without too many supporters.

Post elections, aspiring leaders would gather their supporter MLAs and jostle for key posts in the new government, including that of the chief minister, ministers, the speaker, and key advisory posts. Campaigning and lobbying would continue into the process of government formation. There would be winners and losers even in this process of government formation.

Whatever may be the result, the winning candidates deserve congratulations for campaigning hard and risking huge amounts of money, property and time to win the elections. With a difficult to please and greedy public, the winning candidates know that even after winning, their lives are not going to be easy.Life as an MLA or minister is equally tough. Best wishes to all the aspiring candidates. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)