Elections to BBMP are just over. Time has come to cry over the low percentage of polling. 2008 assembly elections, 2009 parliament elections and this time, the 2010 BBMP elections too - Bangalore city voters have consistently shown their disinclination to come out in large numbers and stamp their verdict. This time, over 55% of the registered voters have refused to be a part of this election process. Why this apathy?
I feel, the reasons might be many like the following.
1. The city voter might not have felt the need of a representative for him. He might just not know the role of a corporator in the City Corporation, how helpful is a corporator for him when for anything and everything; he may have a direct access for the right solutions? Without a representative, he must be confident to get the things done for him.
2. The city voter might have only disgust for the way in which the elections are held. He might have nothing but only contempt towards the political parties and their candidates.
3. The city voter may think that it is more useful to spend in other avocation than to go in the blistering sun, stand in the queue and cast vote in favor of someone about whom he knows nothing.
4. Political parties too contribute to this mood by thrusting the candidates on the electorate on the last available date. These candidates about whose antecedents, nothing is known to the voter, campaign for a fortnight and beseech votes. After all, why should a voter develop confidence in a person whose name becomes familiar only through the pamphlets strewn at their doorsteps?
5. Political parties also perceive this aspect of democracy only as an affair of 10/15 days. The party workers are seen at every door step during the election time and once it is over they are off for good.
6. The use of money power thanks to the filthy richness of the candidates might have made the city voter still more cynical.
7. Notorious mistakes in our “voter lists” too add up. It makes it more difficult to even those voters who are willing to vote.
Unfortunately, this criticism of city voters apathy evaporates soon. Once, the counting is done, and new set of corporators take the baton these issues are bound to fade away. Other issues crop up. Neither the election commission, nor the political parties or the media, will think of enlightening the citizens about their role as voters till next elections.
Political parties should seriously introspect this lapse.
Gujarat has made voting compulsory in the local body elections. Should Karnataka emulate this step?