TGIPB – Part 11 : The Final Battle , the end game
The Great Indian Political Battle
The Final phase of polling.
10.8 Crore electorate
0.12 million polling station
0.5 million polling staff
7 states & 2 UT
( Parts of Jammu & Kashmir , Punjab , UP , West Bengal , and whole of Himachal Pradesh , Tamil nadu , Uttarkhand , Pondichery and Chandigargh )
Key contestants : P Chidambaram , Mamtha Bannerjee , Varun Gandhi , Menaka Gandhi , Jaya Pradha , Mohammed Azharudin , Mani Shankar Aiyar , Dayanidhi Maran , Sajjad lone.
My Interesting battles : Varun Gandhi , Menaka Gandhi , Jaya Pradha , Sajjad Lone( ofcourse due to all the controversies generated , though the win of the first two are almost certain , the victory margin would make a good analysis )
The final phase is a keenly watched battle for me as Tamil nadu is my native state. The battle is this southern battle is spearheaded by the two rival parties : DMK and ADMK , one headed by old will seasoned politician M Karunanidhi and the other by the never say die battle hardened charismatic women politician J Jayalalitha , popularly called “Amma” . 39 states of TN would be a crucial block for any new government formation and this time “Amma” is poised to sweep the majority of the numbers and avenging her humiliating complete rout last time that send her into almost political hibernation for 5 years.
Back in Kashmir , the separatist leader , Sajjad Lone defying the warnings of other separatist has taken a positive step of battling it out in democratic way. I welcome his decision . Democracy has a solution for all problems and hope this would make a positive impact for the republic of India.
So the battle finally comes to its end game. Whole India would be waiting for the D-day that is 16th may , when the results would pour in , along with heartburns , victory smiles , anguish , despair and with that the hunt for allies to reach the magical number of 272 to form the new government.
Kaun banega the new PM of 1 billion plus population ? Lets wait for a few more days.
Last few weeks , NDA seems to have gathered a bit of steam but will it translate to votes and victories ? we have to wait for 16th..
Left seem to have reconciled to their not so great performance in election 2009 and have already made small voices of supporting congress to keep the BJP away .. so will they support the Congress yet again ? Again the answer will be on 16th .. If they finally support Congress , am sure they will block Manmohan singh’s second term as PM. So who will be the new PM , incase Congress comes back to power ?
Will the dream of Mayawati and Jayalalitha , Sharad Pawar for the PM chair come true as a wild card candidate ?
For all that numerous questions and probabilities , the answer lies on 16th May.
Lets , wait and watch and write and read.
TGIPB : Part 9 – The Third Battle
The Great Indian Political Battle
April 30 , 2009
Third Phase of Election.
9 states and 2 Union territories
( Jammu and Kashmir , UP , MP , Maharashtra , Gujarat , Karnataka , Bihar , Sikkim Dadra & Nagar haveli , Daman & Diu )
144 million voters
0.17 million polling stations
Key Contestants : Sonia Gandhi , HD Deve Gowda , Jaswant Singh , LK Advani.
A crucial phase for BJP , would be hoping to get rich dividends from the states of Karnataka , Gujarat , MP , Bihar and Maharashtra .
Activist and dancer Mallika Sarabhai is contesting as Independent in Gandhinagar , pitting herself against heavy weight BJP’s current numero uno LK Advani .In spite of the rubble and noise and bits and bytes , I don’t think she will be able to make a big dent on the record of LK Advani in his constituency .
The result I would be eager to see is in Dakshin Kannada . After the recent untoward incidence caused by Sri Ram sena activists and the subsequent Pink chaddi campaigns and the church attacks , definitely mangalore belt is an area to watch and what direction they will make would be keenly followed by many including yours bloggingly !
On a dismal note , the voters turn out in Mumbai was pathetically low . I would have liked the mumbaikars stepping out in large numbers and vote their rights and make a statement on the terrorism issue. After all , they have seen a lot , felt a lot , been affected a lot by terrorism . Mumbaikars , sorry folks , you lost a golden lesson to teach the politicians.
TGIPB – Part 8 : The Second battle and my vote
The Great Indian Political Battle – The Second phase
April 23 , 2009
195 million eligible voters.
2,22,350 polling stations
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand
Key Contestants : Rahul Gandhi , Sharad Pawar , Sushma Swaraj , HD Kumaraswamy , Captain Gopinath , Ananth Kumar
This second phase of election is memorable for me for the sole reason , I casted my vote for the first time. So was I thrilled ? Yep ! Me and my wife got up around 7 , had garam ginger chai and went to caste our votes. The polling booth is quiet near to our place . There were many booths made , so there was not much crowd and it was a smooth event and I pressed the button and got the ink on my finger as a proof of voting ! Whom did we vote ? I pressed the button for BJP while my wife clicked Congress. so 50 : 50 verdict !
Bangalore votes :
So Bangalore being my adopted city now , I had enrolled in the voters list and casted my vote in Bangalore north constituency. To be frank , I was disappointed with the contestants of Bangalore north. Though my voting affiliation is with BJP , the candidate was a big let down. BJP has fielded Chandre Gowda , who defected from Congress just few weeks back. The 70 plus candidate who quit last minute to grab the BJP ticket got my vote in spite of my disliking for the political opportunism he displayed. Well , its another fact that politics and opportunism goes hand in glove but reality bites. Some of my friends asked my why I root for BJP , allegedly “ communal ” party , Well , would write a post on that some day soon. Congress has fielded yet another good old Jaffer Sharief . After delimitation , I think it would be a tough call to predict the winner in Bangalore north.
Bangalore South has impressive candidates . Ananth Kumar , the three time MP and the number two in the power hierarchy of Karnataka BJP is facing Krishan Byre Gowda , a young seemingly impressive candidate from Congress . To add excitement to the already active young list of candidates is Captain Gopinath , the Deccan aviation chief. Captain may not win the seat but am interested to see how much he would fly the electoral race. I am also eager to see , If the hype that was build around Byre Gowda would match the confident Ananth Kumar. Tough fight in cards !
Bangalore rural sees “farmer “ Deve Gowda’s Son HD Kumaraswamy seeking revenge on “Giant killer ” Tejeswani Gowda , who stunned everyone last time by defeating Gowda Senior. Other day , I followed the Tejeswani on a local channel and was impressed by the lady’s energy and campaign . I would like to see her defeat Gowda Jr but then again it would be a tough battle ..
Assembly Election :
Orissa and AP also have their state assembly election alongside. So its time for voters to review Naveen Patnaik and YSR . Chiranjeevi is contesting from Tirupati and also Chandra babu naidu hoping his grand alliance will push him back to limelight. Lets wait and watch ..
Finally , I can Vote !
Reading the title , don’t be misled that I just got eligible to vote ! Though its been many donkey years that I had gone pass the legally eligible voting age of 18 , its only this year I got my name included in the electoral list ! well , better late than never , isn’t it ?
After wasting my right to vote for so many years , I finally decided to be a responsible citizen . So few months back , I went and collected the Form- 6 for including my name in the electoral list. The form was as good as Greek and German for me as it was typed in Kannada language. I kept it aside , hoping to fill it someday with the help of somebody. I totally forgot about it , with many other issues and sub issues and no issues but laziness to blame !
One day , Jaago Re guys woke me up ! Their campaign on net and TV reactivated the ‘responsibility’ gene in me. I logged in to their website and dutifully filled my details as well as my wife’s detail . Thanks to Jaago Re team , 5 minutes of keying in , my Form – 6 was ready and emailed to me ! They had even mentioned the office address where I have to submit it .
So armed with the printed copy of the Form – 6 , I went to the Voters Facilitation
Centre in our area. There were two queues . One long one and another short . I was told the short one is for submitting the new application. 5 minutes wait . My application was submitted. I was happy ! Things went smooth after all . I was told to come after 15 days to check if my name is included or not . Once included , I could get my EPIC ( Electors Photo Identity Card )
I was thrilled that am going to cast my first vote ! Recently in Rajasthan assembly election State PCC president , CP Joshi lost the seat by just one vote so who knows my one vote could be the decisive one too !
Exactly after 15 days , I went to the Voters Facilitation Centre to check if my name is included are not in the list . When I went there , there was one very long queue .. Instead of standing in queue , I went near the counter to see if there is any notice over there that could give me bit of some information . There was to be no information. I was in double mind , should I stand in queue or not . I asked one person , who walked down from the counter , what his submission date is . His was some date earlier to me. I talked to few others and came to know those who submitted before my date of submission only have not got their name included yet in their list . So people stood for many hours only to see , if their name is included or not !!! If only the election commission has made the process easy by putting a notice that applications received till so and so date has been included , things would have been easy and people would not have to wait hours just to be told to come on later date. It could in fact speed up matters for them too. Anyways , I walked back without standing in queue.
I went twice after that only to find still bigger queue. I decided to go on weekend. Two weekends , I slept off . By the time I woke up , there was double bigger queue waiting for me in the centre.
Finally , someone said April 8th is the last date , so I decided I would brave the crowd and check my status . Since they open the counter at 8 , I decided to go by 6:30 only , hoping to beat the queue. By the time I kicked my lazy ass and managed to reach there , it was 7:30 and i was greeted by some 200 people waiting ahead of me ! I cursed myself but then decided to join the patience club. It was one truly secular queue ! With people of all gender, caste , creed , religion and social strata waiting patiently , all for the sake of Indian democracy ! Some sensible ones had bought along newspapers , books , water cans and even tiffin ! Thank God , I carried my earphone so i got hooked to Illayaraja’s tunes stocked in my mobile!
India is the global back office when it comes to ITEs but our government agencies have their own way of providing ‘ prompt ’ services. There were two system to manage the huge queue and they took their own sweet time to process . Finally when my turn came , it was 12:40 noon ! 5 hours in queue ! I never had stood for so long in a queue till date but then I was happy to find out that my name was included in the electoral list and am eligible to cast my vote in this upcoming election !
Then the next issue was to get EPIC . I have to stand again for another 5 hours most probably and with only one more day left . I realized I will skip that anyways it is not mandatory to have EPIC to vote and if the name is included I can always furnish any one of other approved documents . So I decided to collect the EPIC later once the election is over and they restart the EPIC issuance .
I overhead many people complaining about how EC could have simplified the entire process of electoral process. Why others even I had my own share of advices for them to better the working process . But then later I realized , If EC has to be blamed , we public are also to be equally blamed. The whole process of Electoral name inclusion and EPIC is going on for many , many months much before the official election dates were announced. If we had cared to apply then , we could have avoided standing in huge queues ..
Anyways 5 hours of standing and now am armed with my vote power and looking forward to the next queue when I would be standing to cast my vote ! Am I thrilled ? Yes !!!
The Great Indian Political battle – Part 1
The lines are being drawn.
The battle conches blown.
The flags are hoisted.
Partners gained , partners ditched.
Welcome to the world’s biggest democratic battlefield and this is Mr. R covering the political battle for you.
In another 6 weeks time or so , we shall know the new political equations that would lead India for the next couple of years and shape its future. There are lots at stake for the nation and 750 million voters would cast their ballots to determine which direction India would move in the coming years.
So first lets see who is fighting whom ?
We have three camps in this big Kurushetra. When I meant Kurushetra , its just a point of reference for the maha battle ahead and not on the ideology of Good Vs Evil. In this Kurushetra ‘ 09 , we have good and evil mixed in all the camps and fighting it out.
1. NDA ( National Democratic Front ) lead by BJP ( Bharatiya Janata Party )
2. UPA ( United Progressive Alliance ) steered by Congress.
3. Third Front ( last heard they are scouting for a new name for the alliance) authored by a motley of non – congress , non – BJP parties.
BJP and Congress have already got their share of heart breaks and humiliation ahead of the poll , meted out by their own allies. Well , in this era of coalition government , Its the regional kings who dictates the emperor parties !!!
- BJD ( BIju Janata Dal ) dropped its 11 year old coalition partner , BJP like hot potato. It came as a rude shock for BJP and hopelessly spoiling its calculation in Orissa number game .
- RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP boss Ram Vilas Paswan announcing 25:12:3 seat-sharing formula for the UPA in Lok Sabha polls in Bihar , leaving Congress , the national party , with only 3 seats to contest in Bihar. The congress and its workers are fuming . I wonder what one seat less would make a great deal , after all they contested only 4 seats in the last lok shaba poll ! So why this hue and cry ?
- and then we have Shiv sena and NCP ( Nationalist Congress Party ) who tease their respective alliance partners BJP and Congress , by having talks and gossips of stitching together a new alliance in Maharashtra. To add salt to the wound , Shivsena openly supports the prime ministerial ambition of NCP’s Sharad Pawar.
- So powerful are the regional parties , that both the national parties have become junior parties in states like West bengal , Uttar pradesh , Bihar etc.
Then we have the non-congress , non-BJP parties collectively making the Third front !
It is a kichidi front in a nutshell ! Parties who are forced to join together out of compulsion , parties who cannot align with UPA and NDA coz of the rivals sitting in those camps , parties driven by the ambition of the party chiefs to manipulate the most possible post election verdict of hung parliament to their potent advantage !
Former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral , Who headed the short lived United front in 1997 , says about this third front as “ commitment to ambition, not ideology and may not last even till the elections ” He is right in his words too . The coalition is driven by ambition , egos of the individual party chiefs ( Mayawati , Jayalalita , Chandrababu naidu , Sitaram yechury ) and may collapse anytime when the leaders see opportunities elsewhere in the post poll scenario.
Poll dates :
The first phase of election starts on April 16th , 2009 and the counting will be on 16th May , 2009.
For complete information on poll dates and schedules check here
This election is personally more interesting for me for two reasons :
This would be the first time I would be casting my vote . Its not that am just eligible for vote but I was careless enough all this years to waste my right to vote . This time am not going to exercise my right. Second , for the first time am going to cover the election through my blog ,
Vote Kero ! Let the spirit of democracy prevail !