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Voter Turn Out Expression Of Anger

The recently concluded elections to four states (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan & Delhi) witnessed a heavy voter turn out. This is currently being debated on TV channels by all categories of political pundits within the usual parameters of anti-incumbency, pro-incumbency, right, left, centre middle, corruption and inflation. Exit polls have favoured the BJP and discounted the Congress Party. Delhi registered a polling percentage of  65.13. A total of 77,71,102 voters turned up in Delhi. I am picking up Delhi as a sample test case for the voting pattern in Delhi determines and drives the pattern elsewhere in the country. These elections are considered the semi finals for the forthcoming General Elections in 2014. It is the general perception that the government of the incumbent UPA will lose power in 2014. The Sensex seems to have welcomed the impending change as it shot up by more than 400 points in early trades on 5 December 2013. While there will be many analyses and views for the loss of trust in the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, the single most significant cause for erosion of public faith in this government is the unbridled price rise, especially of food and other essential commodities. Coupled with corruption, inflation, non-governance, sabotage of the constitutional scheme of things by creating dual power centre responsible for policy paralysis and decline in public morality. The voter has turned out in large numbers because he is so angry and cut up with this government that he is bent upon throwing it out in the next parliamentary elections in 2014. This government has tested her/his tolerance and invited severest punishment. Heavy voter turn out is, therefore, to be interpreted more as a negative vote against the Congress Party than a vote for the BJP or others. The results are yet to be announced on 8 December, but winners need to note very carefully that the vote this time in the four state assembly polls is essentially to register a very strong disapproval of the anti-people economic policies of this government, its form of dual power centre, corruption and refusal to discharge the functions of a lawful government as per the laws. They will have to live up to the faith of the people by providing a stable, healthy & transparent government.

In Delhi, the emergence of the new political party under the name & style of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has energized the election and made some telling achievements even before the start of the elections. It forced the political parties to screen their nominees to ensure that no candidate with criminal or corruption record gets nominated by any political party. Earlier, criminals were not only welcomed with open arms but felicitated publicly annointing them as great patriots and public servants. This time the AAP cleaned this political cancer. It has got enthusiastic support from all quarters and is being seen by some as the winning party and its leader Arvind Kejriwal as the next Chief Minister of Delhi. How far they are correct will be known by Sunday when the results are announced. But the voter seems to have exercised his/her vote in favour of either the Congress or the BJP only on considerations of stability alone, as the AAP is a new born baby which has yet to prove its capabilities & capacities. So while the AAP may not be able to win an absolute majority, it can be the spoiler if the results throw up a hung Assembly. AAP has already declared that it will not support either of the two national parties (Congress & BJP). In that case another election will become necessary. But one thing is clear, its leader Arvind Kejriwal has become a political leader and can enter parliament any day, on the strength of his bonding with the ordinary as also the elite, without the patronizing hand of any political party. Delhi has a population of about 150,00,000 people. If 77,71,102 have expressed themselves by casting votes, the remaining have registered their anger by not casting their votes. That is a kind of NOTA (None Of The Above)- a right given to the voter by the Election Commission of India to record her rejection of all the contesting candidates by opting for the NOTA.

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