This time too its no different. Though I will be visiting my native that will not be during the polling days. Anyway that doesnt prevent me from writing about the elections in my blog.
Basic Fact on General Elections 2009 (15th LokSabha)
The total number of seats in the Loksabha are 543. (Prevously I think it was 545)
13,68,430 voting machine will be made available for the this elections in 2009. There will be 8,28,804 polling stations. Thats 20% up from last time (2004).
Now read this - there is a polling station with a single voter too. Thats in Junagadh constituency, Bhanej village, in Gujarat. The voter is the priest of a Shiva temple which is situated in the centre of Gir forest - Guru Shree Bharath Dasji Bapu. (maharaj , aap toh guiness book mein hona chahiye)
How many voters? Around 71 crores. Last time it was around it was 67 crores.
When are the elections ?
Phase I - 16 April
Phase II - 22, 23 April
Phase III - 30 April
Phase IV - 7 May
Phase V - 13 May
Results - Single phased on 16 May
There are only two major themes emerging if we ignore the ever and omnipresent the general background music of "uplifting the poor", "security safety and stability ", etc.
The Congress has tried to sort of make it look like a winning combination with the Oscar winning "Jai Ho" score. The permanant fall back options of, education, jobs and health for all by 2012 (extendable to any future election), the names Mahthmaji, Indiraji, Rajivji etc make up the hot curry masala and at times we are left counting the Italian sphagetti.
BJP projects itself through its leader. Their slogan - Able leader, Decisive government. (I like the word decisive in that , which is very necessary for any "Jai ho" to happen. Does it sound ominous enough for the militants too? or will another Khandahar like thing expose their mindless use of the word 'decisive' ).
The Communists have moved a step ahead after centuries of drinking tea, smoking beedis and acting as intellectuals. They launched a web site for the party. So I hope that those inside the party looking after paper based publishing have not lost their jobs.
Hence the General election mood can be summed up like this :-
1) Try getting more seats on any plank or prank.
2) If you fail at step 1, try to clobber up a majority by rounding up some others who managed to win. Give a name to the living-in, like UPA, NDA,..........ADA, APA BDA, BPA etc for that matter.
The general public has come to terms with the elections as something that happens seasonally. It will blow over they are sure and at most they have to cast their either influenced or indifferent vote. The rest will be taken care of by politicians.
Lets Laugh It Off
Some of the parties that fought the elections in 1951 were like this:-
Tamil Nadu Toiler's Party (won 0.84% votes and 4 seats). (hey then what about the opposite group?). So here comes the Zamindar party (won 0.27% votes and 2 seats). There was another group who declared their despondency - The Punjab Depressed Class League (0.01% votes and no seats). There was also a group which was neither toiling nor depressed but simply prided over their place - Cochin Party (0.01%, no seats)
Elections; mixed with - booth capturing, dynastic allotment of seats, seat sharing, pre/post poll alliances (holy or unholy), split, merger, secular and pseudo-secular accusations, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Italian influences, corruption , horse trading , hung parliament, disrupted parlaiment etc- should not dissuade you from casting your vote, for thats the only we yet know of to ward off militant or extreme groups from stopping us eating our Vada Pavs in peace.
Excersice Your Franchise ! Jai Hind!