Thursday, November 9, 2017


At last the periodical  ritual of  voting  for election to   the sixty eight seats of Himachal Pradesh  Legislative Assembly took place  today, the 9th of November by and large peacefully,thanks to meticulous directions and instructions issued by the  Election Commission of India and the elaborate arrangements made by the state for the  smooth conduct  of this quinquennial exercise. However there is a long wait for the contesting candidates who may sit with fingers crossed as the results will be declared only after counting takes place on  18th December  when the cat will be out of the bag.

Apart from the   massive coverage by the print and visual media , these  elections will be remembered for  the  mud slinging and the slandering game played by the parties in the fray. Somehow there was grist for every mill  and the  political  parties were on the defensive  due to lapses and irregularities  unearthed  and talked about at this crucial time. Many idioms, phrases and proverbs  learnt during schooldays , but long forgotten  due to disuse like  “the kettle calling the pot black” ,  “ sweep before your own door “  & “the devil quoting  scriptures”…..came on the tip of the tongue, effortlessly and  spontaneously  seeing what was being uttered by the campaigners and supporters. 
 During the election campaign, one saw rare ingenuity in slogans  devised by the parties ; it is another matter that the slogans  and claims  seemed   hollow in view of the ground reality . However this time  not much of  ‘dil se’ or ‘phir se’ was heard, the ball being left in the court of the voter. .
  In exposing others one got exposed itself.One is left to wonder why the so called   “ star campaigners "-   from the other states  with little knowledge of the state or its problems are thrust upon the  public. They had nothing new to say or offer   except  blowing the trumpet of the party ,  they belonged to and  were canvassing  for , repeatedly counting  policies and ‘successes’ and deriding the opposite party.   At every point  one felt that the voter had no choice  except to choose what to him or her  appeared   worthwhile, irrespective of what was being  promised .

The introduction of  VVPAT at the polling stations is a welcome addition.

 Again this time also  one Shyam Saran Negi   from Kalpa in  Kinnaur ,  ‘first voter of  India’ who  has voted in all elections held since 1952 found  some mention as having turned a centenarian. Some special arrangements were reported to have been made to take him to the polling booth to  enable him to cast his vote.Today itself he was shown on the TV screeen  with a message for voting.  As reports have poured in, he cast his vote this time also. The elections apart from affording  an opportunity  to the voter to exercise his choice, also contain a lesson to  parties and the Governments that they need  to perform to  lay their claim for future governance. One  also hopes that when the New Assembly gets constituted ,   the elected  Members will be accessible to the people . 

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