HomeBusinessLok Sabha Elections and the Race of 'Dictators'.

Lok Sabha Elections and the Race of ‘Dictators’.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government launched a massive election campaign at the government’s expense before announcing the start of the elections. In this race, she had already started while the opposition parties were waiting for the announcement of her start.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

There is a famous scene from the comedy film The Dictator (2012). The dictator competes in the 100-meter race. He is holding a gun that announces the start of the race. He fires it after he starts running himself. Then he runs and shoots the other racers one by one. They keep falling. So he remains a lone runner. At the last place of the race, those standing with a ribbon precede with a ribbon. He goes over the rope and wins the race. The dictator will thus win 14 medals at his own Olympics.

After the announcement of the 18th Lok Sabha elections in India, this scene from the movie ‘The Dictator’ is trending on social media. popular Done. People write that this is happening in India. And there is a reason to say so.

India would not formally call itself a dictatorship. But what happens before the election is somewhat similar to this race. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government campaigned heavily on public spending before the election race was announced. So she started running when the opposition parties were waiting for the election to be announced.

Just before the announcement of the elections, the government changed the rules for selecting members of the electoral commission, which supervises the elections. The selection committee included the chief justice of India along with the former prime minister and the leader of the opposition. By changing the principle, the government dismissed the chairman from the committee and replaced him with a government minister. This means that now the government’s opinion will be the most important when electing the electoral commission. It is as if the captain of only one of the many teams participating in the game appointed the referee. What more can be said about his impartiality!

Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and a senior leader of the opposition Aam Aadmi Party, was arrested immediately after the election was announced. A month earlier, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was arrested. Telangana Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavita has already been jailed.

Three other Aam Aadmi Party leaders — former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, former health minister Satyendra Jain and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh — were already in jail. Sanjay Singh was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court, which overturned the Delhi High Court’s decision.

Interestingly, the same judge who rejected Sanjay Singh’s bail plea upheld Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. To justify the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, he repeated the same arguments which the Supreme Court rejected and granted bail to Sanjay Singh.

The Supreme Court refused to grant concession to Arvind Kejriwal, who is the Chief Minister and a prominent politician. However, the same judge has just suspended the sentence of another politician, Dilip Ray, saying that he is a prominent politician and must stand for election. It should be noted that Dilip Ray has been punished and the investigation in the Arvind Kejriwal case is yet to be completed. People are speculating that Dilip Ray will contest or support BJP. Everyone noticed this open bias of the judge.

These arrests must affect the opposition’s election campaign. Apart from them, various government agencies also send notices on various matters to other opposition party leaders. Former Bihar chief minister and opposition leader Lalu Yadav has been issued an arrest warrant by Madhya Pradesh in a nearly 25-year-old case. It is clear that these government vetting bodies want to somehow confuse the opposition leaders so that they cannot devote their full attention and energy to the election campaign.

Following the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, the country’s largest opposition party, the Congress Party, has been issued a summons by the Income Tax Department for payment of debts of around Rs 1,800 crore. The government withdrew Rs 135 crore from the accounts without informing them beforehand. Not only that, all their bank accounts were frozen. The Congress party is right in saying that the government did this precisely because it could not campaign due to lack of money.

Along with all this, every day there are news of some opposition party leader joining BJP. It is an open secret that everyone is leaving their party to join the BJP out of fear of government investigation agencies. For example, recently a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party left the party. ED recently raided them here. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chauhan and former Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar were threatened with jail by the Prime Minister himself. Today both are in BJP.

The Indian Express, after reviewing the records of 25 such opposition party leaders who joined the BJP, said that cases against 23 of them were closed after joining the BJP. In this way, the opposition parties are emptied. This also creates an illusion among the people that the opposition parties are in panic for fear of defeat and cannot manage anything.

If we look at the role of the big media these days, we see that they are openly promoting the BJP and Narendra Modi. After the election is announced, media platforms prepare programs in which the prime minister and other government ministers get a full opportunity to campaign. The media also spreads the opinion among people that the opposition is weak, the prime minister remains popular and there is no alternative to him.

The government is trying to shut down the media that are parallel to these big media under one pretext or the other. Many popular YouTube channels critical of the government have received warnings or been shut down. That way, people will have no way to find out the opinion of a party other than the government.

From the first day of the election campaign, BJP propagandists including the Prime Minister started dividing voters on communal lines. Narendra Modi said that every page of the Congress party’s election manifesto has the imprint of the Muslim League. Moreover, they call opposition parties anti-sheep and ask people to teach them a lesson. They openly violate the electoral code of conduct. But will the election commission appointed by him be able to ban him?

Foreign Watch It All This is the first time in the history of independent India that the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations has felt it necessary to make a statement that he hopes that the civil and constitutional rights of all will be protected. . will go And all people will be able to freely participate in the elections. Is their concern unfounded?

This election is very important for the future of democracy in India. It should be clear that now all the constitutional institutions of India have decided to work in the name of BJP and the role of its propaganda has been taken over by the media. They tie the hands and feet of the opposition parties. In such a situation, the hope is only from people that they will understand all this and play their part.

(Apurananda teaches at Delhi University.)

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