On Wednesday, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi was booked by Election commission for flaunting a Lotus flower in his hand while holding press conference near a poll booth. For a while it gave a reason for congress to be elated. However as the possible repercussions of this action over them became clear, there was a sense of trepidation in the congress leadership.
While BJP has come in strongly in the defense of its PM candidate, it has also made similar complaints to election commission. It has strongly demanded that EC must immediately devise a way to enable people to vote without showing off their hands or else disqualify the contestants affiliated to the Indian National Congress. The unsuspecting voters, who otherwise were content voting and watching the rest of the drama from a distance, were bemused. They couldn’t decide whether to laugh off this slug-fest as ludicrous prattle or to take them seriously.” My hands are at stake. How can I not take it seriously” said Rajib Bas, a seasoned voter.
“Should I chop off the hands of everyone who come to vote?” asked a baffled CEC V.S. Sampath. “We need their hands till the end for inking their fingers. There is no time to arrange for the necessary surgical instruments and train our agents for it.” Similar apprehensions were seen among the politicians as well. A prominent politician remarked, “Future lies in the hands of the youngsters. If we chop off their hands, where will the future lie?”
This argument however did not pass muster with BJP which demanded that people with hands should be immediately debarred from entering the polling booths. “We have no vindictive agenda but the rules must apply equitably to all” said BJP’s President Ranjnath Singh while talking to media on this issue.
On a similar note, Shiv-Sena has demanded that wall clocks be taken down in every polling booth as it was the election symbol of its arch-rival NCP. Proactively, EC has already put a ban on sweeping in and near the polling booths during poll and a day prior to it. Chief election commissioner was immediately declared corrupt and ambani’s agent by Arvind Kejriwal who declared that he will sit on dharna in front of EC office after he is done with campaigning.
BSP has requested EC to confiscate all bicycles in UP prior to election for it felt that gave an unfair advantage to the incumbent state government. In turn, SP has demanded a ban on the party president of the largest opposition part of the state citing her striking resemblance to their party symbol.
The most convoluted situation has arise in Mizoram where Mizoram National Front has asked EC to refrain from conducting elections in daytime as Zoram Nationalist party has SUN as its election symbol. However, EC’s proposal for conducting elections at night were turned down by Zoram Nationalist party as Mizoram National Front had “stars” as their election symbol.
“They have stirred the hornet’s nest” said an independent journalist covering these elections. “Even with a cursory look around, you can find almost everything that figures in the election symbol of one party or another.” However he wished not to be identified out of the fear of being challenged by Arnab. He was certainly not willing to answer what the nation wants to know.
Our repeated mails to Election Commission elicited no response. A questionnaire to PMO on the matter received only an automatically generated reply “Theek Hai”.
Read my blog at www.sforsiddharth.wordpress.com