DEBATE ENSUES OVER ‘ONE NATION, ONE POLL’ PROPOSALby Opinion Express June 18, 2018 0 comments
Yet again, speculations have started over elections. They had persisted for four years — on whether or not the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections would be held simultaneously. Recently, the Uttar Pradesh Government sent its consent to the Central Government on ‘one nation, one election’. The UP Government had formed a committee under the chairmanship of its minister, Sidharth Nath Singh, and it gave its go-ahead for simultaneous elections. The committee also recommended holding local body elections along with the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
Now, questions are being raised over whether elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan — which are scheduled at the end of the year — will be held. Many experts say elections in these States might be postponed. Then there are some who are asking if the Lok Sabha Elections will be held earlier. Some say Narendra Modi and Amit Shah could go for the LS polls at the end of this year.
So, the Assembly Elections in three States might be held along with the Lok Sabha polls. This is a fact that no Government wants to keep its power at stake even for one day. Even if the BJP doesn’t perform well in the three States, it will have at least six months. This is not necessary that if the party doesn’t perform well in the States, it will not perform well at the Centre either. In 2003 and 2008, the BJP had fared well in the States, but had lost at the Centre.
If the Government takes a decision to defer elections in the three States, then President’s rule will have to be imposed and that will have to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament. In this process, the Government might face problems in the Rajya Sabha. Of course, the BJP can take risk if the party wins the election of Vice-Chairman of the Upper House.
Political churning in UP
The SP and BSP are going to sacrifice their interests to give a big jolt to the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, where there are 80 Lok Sabha seats. Akhilesh Yadav has said that he is ready to give the ‘big brother’ status to the BSP in the Lok Sabha Elections. In one sense, he made it clear that the BSP would be fighting on more seats. It is being said that the SP will get more seats in the Assembly polls.
According to the buzz, the BSP will be fighting on half of the Lok Sabha seats ie 40 seats. This is also decided that the BSP will fight on almost all the reserved seats. The remaining 40 seats will be distributed amongst the SP, Congress, and RLD. Probably, the SP will be fighting on 30 seats, the Congress on seven, and the RLD will get only three seats. The Congress is pressing for 10 seats, but will settle for five to seven also. The SP will also not face any problem in leaving these many seats. This is a fact that the SP hasn’t fought in Amethi and Raebareli seats for years. This time, the party will not field its candidate on two or three more seats.
Ajit Singh will pose the real problem, though. If he presses for the five seats he had won in 2009, then things could get tough for other parties. He could also join hands with the BJP. On the other hand, there are rumours that the Congress will fight alone, and this strategy will be used to cut into the BJP’s votes.
Though Akhilesh has agreed to give more seats to the BSP, the SP leaders are still apprehensive. They think that Mayawati can do the same with the SP as she had done with the BJP. This must be noted that in the Nineties, Mayawati had devised a formula of six months with the BJP. But after running the Government for the first six months, she was not ready to hand over the power to the BJP. That is why the SP leaders want the seat-sharing formula for the Assembly polls to be fixed beforehand. Though it is highly unlikely that the BSP will abide by that formula even after agreeing to it in principle.
PRANAB FAMILY’S FUTURE
There are many speculations over the status of Pranab Mukherjee’s family after he visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. As soon as he decided to go there, social media was abuzz with the news that his daughter Sarmishtha would be joining the BJP, forcing her to issue a clarification. After that, rumours started on Pranab’s MP son Abhijit, with some saying that he would join the TMC. Now, the family is giving clarifications on Abhijit.
These two rumours, that originated on social media, were picked up by mainstream media, especially TV channels. One news channel put the future strategy of Sarmishtha on air in detail. However, sources close to the family say that neither is Sarmishtha going to the BJP nor is Abhijit headed towards the TMC. Some time ago, Sarmishtha had got an offer from the TMC. This is being said that before the last Rajya Sabha election, Mamata Banerjee had told Sarmishtha that she would be sent to the Rajya Sabha if she joins her party, but Sarmishtha denied. That is why, one of her close aides says that when she didn’t join the TMC at that time, why would she join the BJP now?
As far as Abhijit is concerned, he is an MP from Jangipur seat, which he has won twice. His seat lies in the stronghold area of State Congress President, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. After assurance from Adhir Ranjan, Pranab had fought from this seat and the former had worked hard for the latter’s victory. Abhijit’s victory is also dependent on Adhir. If he goes to the TMC, victory from this seat will be difficult. Abhijit can win from this seat even when the Congress is in a bad situation. That is why it is almost certain that Pranab’s daughter and son will remain with the Congress.
AKHILESH’S TARNISHED IMAGE
Either the family members of Akhilesh Yadav or his personal staffers have made blunders while vacating his bungalow and that will cost dear to his image. Akhilesh himself has erred, and he will have to bear the brunt along with the Opposition. When the Supreme Court had ordered former CMs of the State to vacate their bungalows, Akhilesh had gone to court and demanded two years, which elicited critical reactions from the media. The BJP supporters said Akhilesh wants two years to vacate his bungalow, and he wishes that Modi should change the country in five years!
However, while he sought two years from the court on various pretexts, he also started vacating the bungalow in the meantime. It was said that substantial damage had been done to the bungalow property, including to the tiles and water taps, the pictures of which were splashed all over the media. Now, the SP is giving clarifications over the matter.
Earlier, it was being said that this was the Government’s strategy, and the government machinery had excavated the bungalow when Akhilesh vacated it. After that, Akhilesh said he was ready to give money for all the things which had disappeared from the bungalow. But this is a fact that this news has made a dent into his image, especially among youths.
Writer: Hari shankar vyas
Courtesy: The Pioneer