Phased elections, as announced by the Election Commission on Sunday, make very little sense. Not only is it unfair to have a nation held to political ransom for nearly six weeks (11 April to 23 May), but by breaking the election into segments, often in the same state, we are actually creating an uneven playing field. The mood of a nation can be so different in the course of the same election over this massive length of time that it becomes difficult to understand why so much virtue is dredged from a splintered exercise of franchise.
Since all the pundits and experts seem to genially accept the premise as legitimate and no one sees it as absurd, anyone who frowns at it all is seen as being ignorant and unaware of the dynamics and logistics of having it all in one or two days. A natural calamity or even a spate of bad weather can change the equations. Tension on the border, a major tragedy, the loss of an icon, an epidemic, even a global threat can have an impact. Droughts, harvests, strikes and agitations can all affect voters' choices. Much as we are all touched by piety, to my lay mind, several weeks of high-wire tension will only lead to a huge investment in security, the movement of voting machines and ensuring their integrity. It will also lead to confrontations of different types, with accusations flying like a million arrows. Our greatest strength is the size of our working population. Instead of holding an election in seven phases, which in a way converts it into seven separate elections and creates chaos at the hustings, what stops us from going all out day and night at one go? Why is it not logistically possible? We have the technology. This bumbling seven-part epic defeats the whole purpose of a general election. One must keep in mind that several factors like religious festivals, school vacations, monsoon patterns, rising mercury, shortage of water play a part in voter turnout, and thereby the result of the election. This is all seen as perfectly acceptable.
These seven phases of the election will be shoehorned into a perfect jigsaw. For example, in Bihar and West Bengal, it is fragmented over all seven stages. How can one possibly justify this approach and see it as balanced? Unless someone can explain the wisdom of holding the election in phases, to my mind, an election should be held in the same time frame, and the results out the same night.
Tags : #Elections #2019 #LokSabha #Polls #Phases #Seven