TODAY -

Election in March first week ?

Free Thinker *



From some rumour mongers like me, intending candidates have come to know that the State Assembly election is likely to be held in the first week of March, 2022. Actually they want to advance the polling as they have started spending day in and day out.

One unauthenticated source told me that it will be held in 3 phases. I shot back, why not in 2 phases? – one for hills and another for valley. The source gagged me by blurting - this is the proposition from the higher ups.

Contending candidates are crying to hold the election at the earliest – if possible in January or February. On the contrary voters desire to get it postponed indefinitely as they have started enjoying the fruits of democracy these days. Ministers, MLAs, and intending candidates have lined up to listen to them and help them in all possible ways.

Last election, one observer told me that your State election is one of the most expensive, comparable with States like Arunachal and Tamil Nadu. Candidates spend in crores much beyond the mandated expenditure ceiling.

I told him, why don’t you book them or report the same to the ECI? With a meaningful smile, he said, everyone knows. Then increase the expenditure limit of the candidates and political parties in a more realistic way.

Some right thinking citizens are working hard to bring about a change in our election and electioneering; they have started a campaign asking the voters and general public to not take bribes or money or any freebies from the candidates and also urge them to choose the right candidate.

If the voters can’t find the right candidate among the contestants, what will they do? If no deserving candidate is found, there is a button to press (NOTA – none of the above). If NOTA wins, will there be a repoll?

I am really confused with the logic of a wealthy intending candidate, he says, whoever comes to him, he will pay accordingly ; if all the voters from his constituency come, will he be in a position to pay them all appropriately? Perhaps he knows the rate of his constituency. If so, that is wonderful.

He must be made the MLA because he is willing to give away what he has earned over the years before he is elected. Such dedicated persons are required for the State and for the people.

BJP is claiming that they are winning 45 seats; Congress is also saying almost the same thing; NPP is murmuring that they are forming the next government; NPF is cocksure that they will be in the Government; MPP is trying to have a comeback; CPI/CPM may be trying to win some seats by indulging in strategic partnership; AAP, Trinamool, Shiv Sena, JD (U), RSP etc. may give surprises in the result. But we have only 60 seats. If BJP wins 45 and Congress wins an equal number, there is no scope for others.

The first struggle is to get a ticket for the ruling party. If you can manage the ticket you are 50% safe; by putting some effort here and there the chance to win becomes brighter. If you are unable to manage a ticket from the ruling party, the next best option is to see the BJP alliance system; and contest from friendly Parties of the ruling dispensation may help in future, if victorious.

If you can win as an independent candidate, believe me, you have a very good chance of becoming a minister; otherwise Chairmanship of some lucrative Corporation is certainly ensured. And if your destiny is strong you may even become the Chief. By chance 30/31 MLAs want to support you; you are the king, until they change their mind. Don’t be afraid of Anti- defection law, it is no more very effective in our State.

Needy voters in rural and remote areas may insist that smartphones be given to their children and students so that they don’t miss out on the on-line classes. On-line classes are going to be the trend as long as we can’t provide an effective defence against the virus – now ‘Omicron’, a deadly new variant from Africa is again spiking global panic.

Some activists rang up and asked me what my opinion on poll-spending by candidates is? I told them, spending on road construction, digging community ponds, dredging drains, deepening locality tanks, laying toti-pipes, construction of private latrines & public toilets , installation of solar street lamps, starting electric /gas crematoriums etc. must be encouraged.

But distribution of hard cash should be discouraged (last time huge nakli notes were used). Houses of poorest families may be constructed or repaired and a livelihood-job may also be offered if possible. Ideally voters should not sell their votes; instead, they should insist the candidates do something concrete for the locality or the community or the constituency for common good.

Let me conclude with an electrifying election appeal from an aspiring candidate - “we are organ-rising erection rally, please join” (get the idea, forget the pronunciation, English is a foreign language).


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on November 30 2021.



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