October 22, 2009

life in general: state elections & my vote

Results for the state elections (held about a week back) in Maharashtra, where I reside, are out. The alliance between Congress and Nationalist Congress Party has won more than 140 seats out of a total of 288 seats, followed by the 90-odd seats of the alliance between Shiv Sena (SS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

As was the case in the general elections in Maharashtra in April this year, this time too the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) (the group of political people headed by Raj Thackeray that split from Shiv Sena about three years back), has got many votes, a predominant part of which would have otherwise gone to the SS-BJP alliance. I have no doubt in my mind that once aged and ailing Bal Thackeray (the chief of SS) passes away in the near or far future there will be an exodus of political workers from SS to MNS and the elections after that will have a MNS-BJP-SS alliance that will make it difficult for Congress-NCP alliance to get away with anything and everything. Not that MNS-BJP will be any less worse than Congress-NCP when in power. But at least the growing arrogance of Congress-NCP will diminish.

Growing arrogance of political parties is a real threat when a particular party and its alliance partners win elections more than once. People should have voting sense and never vote for the same party twice. In Maharashtra, Congress-NCP have managed to win a majority because of the split of opposition votes betweeen SS-BJP and MNS. In Haryana, Congress found it very difficult to scrape through as it got a tough fight from INLD, an opposition party that was not affected by any split of opposition votes.

Arrogance of political parties can be easily curbed if people vote for non-party contestants. That is, independents. Independents are not free of problems but at least they are not proven dangers that most political parties are. I have written about my rationale in two posts in April (here and here).

This time around, in Maharashtra's elections, I voted for a 27-year old Ravindra Gawai, an independent contestant. Obviously, I was not expecting him to win because it is so evident that a majority of people still go out and vote for parties. He did not win.

Who won then? See the results for my constituency in the table below. A candidate from Congress, Ramesh Thakur, won. This Ramesh Thakur is a sophisticated thug who has grabbed land illegally and who runs illegal mining operations in the hills adjoining the forest area in my constituency and surrounding areas. People voted for Congress having images of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in mind and ended up giving way too much political power to a thug in their own backyards! Extremely unfortunate.

Table of the results of my consitutency taken from http://eciresults.nic.in/ConstituencywiseS13160.htm

Maharashtra - Kandivali East
Result Declared
Candidate PartyVotes
THAKUR RAMESH SINGHIndian National Congress50138
JAIPRAKASH THAKURBharatiya Janata Party38832
PAWAR VINOD TUKARAMMaharashtra Navnirman sena24091
BANSODE RAVI BHIKAJIBahujan Samaj Party950
HARIHAR KALIKA YADAVRepublican Party of India (A)644
ARUN K. KADAMIndependent176
Last Updated at 3:48 PM On 22/10/2009

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