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P C Punnen
P C Punnen
In My View

Kerala is facing a litmus test

P.C. Punnen

Kerala is a state which leads the country in education and healthcare. But ironically the state seems to have a problem of fake voting or bogus voting. All the political parties and many government employees in charge of elections are involved one way or the other in it. The cadre based political parties have more involvement in the deal. Earlier the voters and our political leaders do things to stop this, the better for our nation. Else, the voters will lose their faith in the election system which has improved of late but not thoroughly. Kerala faces a litmus test this time round.

As things stand, our electoral representatives do not have to win a majority of the voters support: he or she will have to only score a higher point than his or her nearest candidate. It is called the first past system. For example, take the Kottayam seat. The winner has to have only 35 percent votes. The rest of the votes may get divided among his opponents. The same was the case in the last Lok Sabha. The BJP had won just 32 percent of the national vote. What cost the country is a matter to be discussed thread-bare. Let it be for now.

Consider the fact that I voted for one candidate who is hoping to have the key votes divided among his main opponents who once belonged to Kerala Congress.

The number of bogus votes in Kannur has been increasing. This has become a case similar to that of Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu, no better no worse. The CPM Kerala leadership is in a spot because it is ruling the state. Not that it alone is involved. The CPM leadership has tried everything in the book to justify it. It has criticised the Election Commission of Kerala for taking this seriously. The argument doesn't hold. It is clear that the Muslim League's involvement in the scandal as narrated by the CPM has put the Muslim League also in trouble. The point is all parties are involved in bogus voting. What the CPM tried when the scandal came to light is ridiculous; they defended it saying bogus voting was done on behalf of voters who couldn't vote, with their presence in the place where voting took place.

The opponents have taken it very seriously as if they have nothing to do with what has been going on unnoticed in newspapers for a long time. Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan have become the critical point in this scandal which is likely to be forgotten three weeks hence. Because by then the people will be more interested in learning who the next prime minister will be, whether it will be Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi, or whether some other leader will take the call.

It's a very interesting and very serious election as it will decide the fate of India. The men who hold forth on the national event on behalf of the media will have a lot to say. A mixture of who dunnit and who failed to do the needful. By then the national attention will focus on what to do and what not to do. The ill-doing of political parties, and punishment, if any will not be discussed.

There was bogus voting at a level much higher in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This was very common in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and not unheard of in West Bengal. But now that such incidents are on the rise in Kerala which has been a different state in the country, is a bad thing to happen. For which we are all responsible as much as the government servants on electoral duty and leaders of the CPM, Muslim League, BJP and the Congress.

The BJP made Sabarimala a big issue. The CPM didn't have anything to do with Sabarimala; it was a Supreme Court verdict and Kerala's ruling party was duty bound to implement it as the CPM very correctly said. The Congress was neither here nor there, something typical of the Congress history. But the CPM committed a mistake by not taking any moves to implement the Supreme Court order in the case related to Jacobites and Orthodox groups, which have been fighting it for a century.

This shows Kerala's politicians are one and the same. They have no respect for law and order. They care only for votes and will do anything for votes.

Rahul Gandhi has done something that will change the party. The party will have new leaders. It will pay them high respect among people who are sick of seeing the kind of leaders who will jump to the BJP camp for the lowest gains. The party has two young leaders Rahul and Priyanka whose main task is to improve the party at various levels. This does mean a last innings for veteran leaders like AK Anthony, an important leader of the present day Congress. He hasn't said anything about Rafale case which is a main issue of the Rahul led Congress. Anthony was defense minister when the Rafale deal began.

A party like the Congress should be cadre based like the CPM, the CPI and BJP. It should have one man to call the shots and thousands of followers.