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Issue No.: 570 | December 2014
 

Haryana A Decisive Victory for the BJP

B. N. Mehrish
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Very few residents of the posh condominiums in Gurgaon turned up at the polling booths clocking voter turnout at 64%. The overall voting in all the four constituencies of Gurgaon district was 69% - lower than the state average of 76%. Sohna remained at the top with 77.4%, followed closely by Pataudi at 68.9%, and Badshahpur at 68.7%.

"We have got very little response from such posh condominiums as Hamilton Court despite the fact that we went to plead with them to turn up on polling day many a time. The situation is pathetic,” said Manish Arora, PRO of RWA (Residents’ Welfare Association) of plot holders DLF-4. "People have given up on politicians. None of them made any effort to influence the residents. It was only during the last 4-5 days, before polling that the candidates came to talk to us. They were also not very impressive and people were also not interested. The people here are busy with their lives. There is both lack of interest and lack of good candidates,” said Col.(retd) Sarvadaman Oberoi, secretary, Uniworld garden RWA. Also, none of the candidates has done much development work for the areas. During Lok Sabha polls, people voted as they wanted to bring Modi to the Centre,” said Viraj Choudhary, a resident of DLF-3.

Many senior citizens participated in the electoral process with a vigour unmatched by the younger generation who remained conspicuously absent from the polling booths in Gurgaon. "During the 1970s and 1980s, there used to be long queues at the polling booths which is rarely seen these days,” said Singh a resident of sector 9A. First-time voters too lamented the lack of enthusiasm among the youth. "This is my first vote. Posh areas in Gurgaon are notorious for being apathetic to voting. Even many of my own family members have not come to vote today,” said Siddhartha a resident of DLF-1

Badshahpur Voters Take the Cake

In the Badshahpur constituency, which largely represents posh localities promoted by private developers, 212,860 voters cast their votes bringing the poll percentage to 68.7%. It fared better than the Old Gurgaon assembly constituency where 188,894 votes were cast pushing up the voter turnout percentage to 64%. Relatively, Gurgaon performed better than in the last assembly elections when the voter turnout had remained at 54.17%. However, it was dismal compared to the turnout during the Lok Sabha poll in May this year.

For the first time, Gurgaon voters could see who they had voted for immediately after casting their votes, courtesy Election Commission of India’s (ECI) initiative to ensure transparency in the polling procedure. The Commission introduced Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail System (VVPAT) as a pilot project in 19 constituencies in the assembly elections. The vote is displayed for seven seconds to the voter and is then cut off and passed into a sealed black container so that it is not visible to others.

"It is a move towards improving technology in the electoral process and ensuring transparency so that complaints by voters of faulty EVMs can be addressed. The system has been used earlier in other states but was introduced in Haryana for the first time,” said Shrikant Walgad, chief electoral officer, Haryana. The system was introduced in Gurgaon, Rohatak, Karnal, Sonepat, Panipat and Thanesar.

Haryana’s Glass Ceiling Cracks

The newly formed assembly in Haryana has 13 women MLAs – the maximum in the history of this north Indian state since it first assembly polls in 1965. The All India Democratic Association (AIDWA) Haryana fielded seven candidates who made their debut as legislators in the 2014 assembly elections. Electoral Politics in Haryana has defied the gender factor. According to Kavita Jain, MLA from Sonepat, "It is unfair to say that women act as proxy for men in the family.”

According to Namta Bhandare, Haryana is poised for change, not just in government, but also for a new deal and a new direction for its women.

Conclusion

After charting victories in Haryana and Maharashtra, BJP president Amit Shah is now expanding the Party’s foot print in other states.According to a comment the campaigns of 2014 Assembly elections was "war of words, not a clash of ideas.”

DR. B. N. MEHRISH , Retired Professor of Politics, University of Mumbai. Now a Gurgaon resident.
 E-mail : brijesh.mehrish@gmail.com


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It is ironical that Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had to lose his job as the Congress Party’s spokesperson for praising Narendra Modi for his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2014. Tharoor tweeted, "Strong speech by PMO India soaring internationalism, support for democracy & environment, anti-terrorism.” Digvijaya Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad also praised Modi’s efforts during Jammu and Kashmir floods. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi praised Modi’s Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.

In the Congress Party there will be a change of guards. The Congress Working Committee will be restructured; young faces will be inducted like BJP. The Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has planned to rebuild party’s image and take full control of the party after the humiliating defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls – the party’s worst ever electoral performance.
B. N. Mehrish


 
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