Crores, millions and lakhs: the magnificent election exercise

The enormity of the Lok Sabha Elections is many a time difficult to comprehend. The machinery that has clicked into the play mode is not only that of the political parties but that of the Election Commission too. The numbers are tallied in millions of voters, in crores for poll expenditure, in lakhs of polling booths, polling agents, police, paramilitary, reserve police and even unaccounted for cash that is seized. The world’s largest democracy is going into polls and it is therefore excusable that the elections for the country’s 16th Lok Sabha is hogging a lot of media space and eating into most of the polite conversations.

To ensure fair and free polls the EC is taking every step possible to enforce the Model Code of Conduct. A request was sent to all the websites and mobile networks to check poll ads and not to allow ads without poll certification from the EC. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is preparing a response to the ECs request.

Important Dates
Issue of Notification: 19 Mar (Wednesday)
Last Date for filing Nominations: 26 Mar (Wednesday)
Scrutiny of Nominations: 27 Mar (Thursday)
Last date for withdrawal of Candidature: 29 Mar (Saturday)
Polling Date: 17 April (Thursday)
Counting of Votes: 16 May (Friday)
Date before which the election shall be completed: 28 May (Wednesday)

19th March onwards, the candidates will begin filing nominations. In the city, on Day 1, incumbent MPs Ananth Kumar and PC Mohan filed their nominations, as did a few independents and a few Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) candidates. Nominations and affidavits will be updated on the EC website over the next week.

The candidates from the city will increase many fold in the week to come and Citizen Matters will be following campaign trails, interviewing and sharing information so citizens can make an informed choice.

Party

Bangalore South

Bangalore North

Bangalore Central

Bangalore Rural

Chikballapur

INC

Nandan Nilekani

C Narayana Swamy

Rizwan Arshad

D K Suresh

Veerappa Moily

BJP

Ananth Kumar

D V Sadananda Gowda

P C Mohan

P. Muniraju Gowda

B N Bachegowda

AAP

Nina P Nayak

Babu Mathew

V Balakrishnan

Ravikrishna Reddy

K Arkesh

JD(S)

     

Prabhakara Reddy

 

SP

Ravi Kumar T Yadav

     

Sunil Kumar R

Independent

 

Neha Patil

     
   

Mu Venkatesh Simha Bhovi

     
   

K Satyanarayana

     

Socialist Party of India (Communist)

Umadevi M

 

Zaheeda Shereen

   

Karunaadu

   

Budayya Pujeri

   

 

Although most parties have announced their candidates and many have begun filing nominations, the JDS is still make an official announcement of the city’s candidates. With a week to go before nominations close, the party still seems undecided. Names of Nandini Alva, wife of Late Jeevaraj Alva and former CM H D Kumarawamy have been reported as probable candidates but there has been no confirmation from the party.

With less than a month for elections in the city, we still have no manifesto from the parties. A news daily in fact published a manifesto of what was needed for this country touching all aspects of development including equality and environment. The manifesto received praise from many quarters, some even suggesting political parties make note of it.

Elections times are when certain industries and individuals thrive. Parties rope in individuals with lucrative offers for odd jobs that range from campaigning to being party poll agents. Art, merchandising, boutiques, individuals making odd kitsch are also part and parcel of the elections because candidate branding is an integral part of elections. Another group in the news during elections are the film fraternity, as candidates or campaigners. Rakshita is one such actress who makes news around every election, be it the Assembly or Lok Sabha elections, for party hopping. This time she quit JDS to join BJP because the former denied her a ticket from Mandya.

Party hopping is at its peak around elections, many political bigwigs, not only in the city but the state and country too, have changed alliances. Former MP, Jaffer Sharief on being denied a Congress ticket from Bangalore Central said his bonded labour for the Congress was over and was in talks with the JDS supremo and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda. He is reported to have rejected an offer to be a Rajya Sabha member from the city and refused to be mollified by the Congress.

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About Josephine Joseph 46 Articles
Josephine Joseph researches and writes on urban governance, civic and environmental issues in Bangalore City, from a 'citizen' point of view.

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