By Meghana Rathore:
In precisely a month, the country is going to witness the most historic elections ever. As the end game draws near, the conundrum of making informed choices is something that needs to be addressed effectively. NaÃ¯ve choices are the last thing the electorate lot needs at the moment. The question that needs to be answered is, amidst the entire range of variables what should count the most: the party as a whole, the leader who is steering the party or the ideology of the party?
One party that since its inception stage has provided for an enigmatic rather dystopian pull factor, has undoubtedly been AAP. A party driven by a bunch of purist individuals who came together to formally organize themselves into a party after being a part of and active in the largest anti corruption movement this country had seen i.e. India Against Corruption. AAP is one such party that was built not on the basis of an overarching ideology but on the basis of a strategy. AAP’s USP, that united people across the nation are its aspirations, aims and revolutionary attitude. This party was nuanced and targeted a new faction, the liberal middle class, who had mostly been ignored by all the major parties till date. However, it was speculated that the party didn’t have a plan in place but what was witnessed in its 49 days of governance in Delhi certainly proved its mettle. After having tried, tested and dramatically pulled out of governance in the capital city the movement cum party has now gone national.
However, the country is still disgruntled about the unyielding and impatient behaviour of the architect of the party, Arvind Kejriwal. This might prove as a major deciding factor. Let’s see if this idealist, non compromising, intransigent party is able to make a mark this time.
One of the pervasive trademarks across Indian parties is the presence of disparate individuals within the same party. One such example would be CPM’s veteran, Manik Sarkar. Howsoever, irrelevant, CPM has been becoming as a party, this man has been able to carry off his cult factor effectively in his state, Tripura. He has been the longest serving chief minister having won 3 straight terms. One of the most earnest leaders across the political gyre, his honesty is his USP. He enjoys the fact that he is touted as the poorest Chief Minister. His party just pays him a subsistence allowance of Rs. 5000/month. His entire property, movable and immovable has been valued at less than Rs. 2.5 lakhs. Despite, being honest he also is a good administrator. From having created employment for the tribal youth, to controlling border insurgency, he has gained popularity as an efficient leader too. A few shortcomings could be that the state has also witnessed some major scams which includes, the 7.79 crores Aadhar scam as well. However, his personality is thriving at least his party in Tripura.
Coming to ideology based parties, one such party with historical and ideological credentials is the Congress. It has witnessed a major nosedive in the past few years, but “secularism” might be it’s only saving grace at the moment. With, Rahul Gandhi having taken up the gauntlet, he is busy bringing to people’s attention the long forgotten secular credentials of the Congress and its historical successes. He is stating his family’s legacy and at the same time quite astutely, playing the admonisher from within the party. Congress’s image as a party with no religious, regional affiliations whatsoever is what sets it apart. One cannot deny its major role in saving India from being fractioned and divided. However, it’s only the historical card that can be played. Recent happenings, AAP’s clamour and Modi’s mob pandering have been casting a pall on chances of its comeback.
Having discussed the examples, it’s imperative to note that while all the factors must come to play while making an informed choice, parties past records can’t be excused. We could try out new alternatives and vote very rationally also; keeping in mind the rudiments of our democracy are upheld. Be it a party driven or ideology or personality driven vote, make sure it counts and is not influenced but your own choice.