Monday, April 07, 2014

Whom to vote for? (2014 General Elections)

Who is worthy of my vote? This question was troubling me since last many months. I was not satisfied with my own answers to this question. But, today, at B.PAC organized meet with the candidates clarified many things and I could come up with one definite answer that I was satisfied with.

After a series of scams that rocked the UPA-II, I was feeling quite lost for an answer. Then came assembly elections and AAP won 26 seats in Delhi. I saw a ray of hope. I started liking AAP. However, my happiness was short-lived. AAP could not provide a model of governance which was self-sustaining and long lasting. There was no diplomacy or polity in their approach. AAP came across as a confrontationist party to me.

I was back to square one with the question. I started seriously considering BJP for my vote. Somehow, I did not feel it right to vote for just any BJP candidate just because Narendra Modi, who has provided stable governance in Gujarat for last 12 years, was at the helms. I held a view that person who is capable of representing my constituency and resolve issues of my constituency should get my vote, irrespective of which party s/he belongs to or who is his/her leader.

A few days ago, I came to know about the candidates contesting to represent my constituency. They are; sitting MP Mr.PC Mohan from BJP, Mr.Rizwan Arshad from Congress, Mr. V Balakrishna from AAP and Ms. Nandini Alva of JDS. I was trying to gather some information about these candidates but was not convinced about anybody.

I was considering NOTA at this moment.

On Saturday morning, I got a call from Sandhya, a fellow Rotarian, about BPAC meeting. I thought, let me give it one more go to see if I can learn something about these candidates. So, I happily agreed to join her and other friends. I am glad I took  the trouble to wake up early on a sunday morning and go for the meeting.

I went with an open mind to evaluate the ability of the candidates irrespective of their party or religion. Meeting began after formal introductions. It was an interesting format where a set of 4 questions were asked to each candidate and they were given 4 minutes time to respond to each question. Later, audience questions were asked and then concluding comments by candidates. The event started dot at 10am and finished at 11.30am as planned. I was impressed.

Questions were, “why do you think you are eligible to represent this constituency?”, “What issues would you focus on?”, “What is your vision?” and “How will you make yourself reachable and accountable?”

First question was a usual drill and everyone spoke well. However, Balakrishna and Rizwan Arshad came across a bit more refined, realistic and focused. PC Mohan came across as disciplined but to me he lacked substance and appeared defensive. Nandini Alva impressed me with her good vocabulary but again, I did not find any focus or substance in her speech.

Subsequent questions were handled differently by candidates. Again, I was convinced by the points put forward by Balakrishna and Rizwan Arshad.

I was hoping to find only one capable candidate, but here I found two candidates I could choose from. This was not acceptable.

So, after giving it a long hard thought, finally I made my choice.

I am not a member of any political party nor am I a campaign manager for any candidate, hence I feel it is inappropriate for me to share my choice openly on a public forum. In my view, every voter is matured enough to make his/her choice correctly by following a process of selection. What I have shared here is the process that I followed to make my choice.

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