Are the new standards of rules, regulations and restrictions, being enforced by the Election Commission, resulting in more outflow of money by the political parties in the elections? As a result of seizure of many avenues for the parties and the contestants to reach the voters, has money become the only way to reach them, reach them effectively? This was the question posed to me by Mr. Arun, who is a senior reporter with Indian Express.
It was thought provoking. I discussed this with many of my colleagues having vast experience in facing the elections, a senior JDS leader, and an officer having many years of involvement to his credit in handling elections. The following answers that I got from them are still keeping me intrigued.
o No. There is no such relationship. Even if the campaigning process had been as modest as earlier, penny power would have impacted the same way as it is now. Reason is obvious. Persons with more money power are only able to enter into the politics and make a mark these days.
o Such people, who believe money is just most everything, would not have the faith in the customary campaigning process. No faith in the prowess of Party workers.
o They believe, money has all the power to reach the key voters, the powerful leaders of the respective areas and so on.
o When there is nothing to boast about the candidate’s achievements, there is no other medium which can influence voters. Money alone is the grand avenue!
This new found way is surely a snag for sustenance of our healthy democratic fabric.
What will you say?
-S. Suresh kumar