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Democracy being mocked in AP

Democracy being mocked in APDemocracy being mocked in AP
Highlights

Andhra Pradesh is witnessing the fiercest poll battle this time. Though the State is known for intense...

Andhra Pradesh is witnessing the fiercest poll battle this time. Though the State is known for intense caste-based politics, the dynamics have now changed and it has become a battle field where the TDP is on one side and the YSRCP, supported by the BJP and the TRS is on the other side.

This time poll management, to be more precise, money and muscle power, is going to play a major role in deciding the fortunes of the ruling party which is sparing no effort to retain power and the Opposition YSRCP which is desperately trying all possible ways and means to come to power.

The TDP, which contested the 2014 elections in alliance with the BJP, has 15 Lok Sabha MPs while the YSRCP won seven seats and the BJP bagged three. The TDP got 106 out of 175 Assembly seats and formed the government.

A caste analysis of 2014 Lok Sabha election results shows that the TDP and the BJP got major support from Kamma, Kapu, OBC and upper caste communities while the YSRCP got a major share of Reddy, SC, Muslims and Christian votes. This time though the BJP is contesting the polls, it has become non-significant. So is the case and the new entrant Jana Sena which is a side player and it remains to be seen as to whose chances it will impact.

There could be a split in the Kapu community as some may rally behind Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party which has aligned with the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Left. The Kapus have been demanding reservation which was promised by the TDP but could not be delivered due to legal issues. But then it is also a fact that no community would vote en masse for any particular candidate.

What is interesting during these elections in Andhra Pradesh is that in an unprecedented manner, the Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu met the CEO and submitted a memorandum protesting against what he said unilateral and arbitrary decisions of the Election Commission of India. On the other hand, the BJP national leaders surprisingly gave a call for more IT raids on TDP leaders.

This attitude by the ruling party leaders at the Centre is again unprecedented. Modi on one hand says that he wants five more years to finish the Congress. In the case of Andhra Pradesh, his party leaders demand more IT raids on TDP leaders. It would have been more sensible if they had demanded IT raids on all corrupt leaders.

Can the BJP say that no other political party leader is corrupt but only the TDP leaders are corrupt? If so, that should be the main slogan of the BJP. One thing people should realise is that political leaders should stop shooting their mouth without understanding the facts.

The residual State has succeeded in creating great wealth for a State which had multiple fractures when it was bifurcated in an unscientific manner. Land acquisition is not new nor a crime but for narrow political reasons, the future of people should not be killed and that is exactly what the rival political parties are trying to do.

Whether it is at the Central level or in the two Telugu States, the attitude that decimate your rivals is what causes concern for all those who love democracy. There is certainly need for some urgent reforms in the electoral system and for that the suggestions should come from the common man and not the political parties.

The first step every political party should take is stop paying money for vote. Can any party agree to do it? Similarly, the voters too should learn to say no to a few crispy notes. But the extent of pollution is so high that neither of the two are willing to take corrective measures.

That should be the first and foremost area where political reforms should begin from. I am sure none of the present-day political parties including the two major national parties the Congress and BJP would agree. I am sure even the Chowkidar will not speak about it.

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