In a democracy, parties go to people with an agenda, a programme they promise to implement if voted. If this is permissible, so is the bsp’s creation of parks and monuments with statues of Dalit leaders such as Periyar, Mahatma Phule and Dr B.R. Ambedkar, who inspire the party in its pursuit of social justice, which it promises people. As for chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi’s contention in his interview (Jan 30) that these were created using government funds and hence must be covered up to nullify their influence, I wonder if he will prevent the Congress from constantly seeking votes in the name of the NREGA, which is after all a scheme funded by government money.
Will he ask to cover all the bycycles distributed by Mulayam singh yadav from government funds?
Covering elephant statues is rediculuous. I agree with covering Mayawati statue though.
What is his long term planning, is this going to happen in subsequent elections as well?
While the EC has the constitutional right to act in accordance with the laid-down electoral laws and code of conduct yet their decision to cover the statutes of elephants and Maywati may not yield the desired results regardless of their governmental source of funding. The statues are built only in Lucknow and Noida thus what effect are these going to have on the electorate spread well over other 74 districts of UP. In fact this decision seems to have innocuously rendered a gratis and an enhanced popularity to Mayawati. After all, the citizens going to the polling booths need not have a fresh look on the uncovered statues of Mayawati and elephants to get their memories refreshed.
In a democracy any party goes to the people with an agenda and programmes they would implement if they came to power. Are the parks in UP not built with that sense? BSP being a party that has come into being on the philosophy of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, Mahatma Phule, Periyar and other social thinkers who wanted to establish a just society. It is in this context that one should understand the parks established in honour of the leaders who showed a path to the downtrodden. If the argument given by EC that anything built from public funds that could influence the voters, "... are they created using government funds and displayed in an election situation? Second, even when these are created with government funds, we need to see if they are part of the normal functions of any government, irrespective of party affiliation?" How could one see parties asking people to vote for their party on the schemes brought out by them? Eg. Congress asking people to vote on the MGNRES, RTI, Development, etc. is it not one way of influencing the voters asking for votes on schemes implemented from 'Public Funds'. The EC’s logic of public funds being used is absurd and against the democratically elected government's mandate to execute its schemes for its people. It is worthwhile to recollect Dr.B.R.Ambedkar's words, "For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality" and it is that culture which is reflected in parks which the so-called 'elites' of the Indian society cannot digest. And the bogey of 'Public money' being wasted is just hogwash.
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