HomeBusinessLok Sabha Elections and 'The Dictator' Race

Lok Sabha Elections and ‘The Dictator’ Race

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government ran a massive election campaign at the government’s expense before announcing the start of polls. So, he has started running in this race while the opposition parties are waiting for the announcement of his launch.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

There is a famous scene from the comedy film ‘The Dictator’ (2012). The dictator competed in the 100 meter race. He held the pistol that signaled the start of the race. He fires it after he starts running himself. Then he ran, passing the other runners one by one. They keep falling. Thus he was left as the lone runner. At the last place of the race, the people standing with the ribbon came forward with the ribbon. He crossed the rope and won the race. So the dictator won 14 medals in his own Olympics.

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

India is not formally called a dictatorship. But what happened before the election was quite similar to this race. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government campaigned heavily on public spending before announcing the election race. So, he has started running while the opposition parties are waiting for the election to be announced.

Before the announcement of the election, the government changed the rules for selecting the members of the Election Commission, which oversees the election. The selection committee included the Chief Justice of India along with former Prime Ministers and Leaders of the Opposition. By changing the principle, the government removed the Chief Justice from the committee and replaced him with a government minister. It means that now the opinion of the government is the most important in the election of the Election Commission. It seems that the captain of only one of the many teams participating in a game appoints the umpire. What remains to be said of his impartiality!

Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and a senior leader of the opposition Aam Aadmi Party, was arrested as soon as the election was announced. A month before this, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was arrested. Telangana’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavita has 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 – are already in jail. Sanjay Singh was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court overturning the Delhi High Court’s decision.

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

The High Court refused to grant concession to Arvind Kejriwal, as the Chief Minister and a prominent politician. But the same judge postponed the sentence of another politician, Dilip Ray, saying that he is an important politician and should contest the election. It should be noted that Dilip Ray has been punished and the investigation in Arvind Kejriwal’s case has not been completed. People are speculating that Dilip Ray will either contest or support the BJP. Everyone noticed this obvious bias of the judge.

These arrests are bound to affect the opposition’s election campaign. Apart from them, various government agencies sent notices to other leaders of opposition parties on various matters. Former Bihar Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Lalu Yadav has been issued an arrest warrant from Madhya Pradesh in an almost 25-year-old case. It is clear that these government vetting agencies want to somehow confuse the opposition leaders so that they cannot give their full attention and energy to the election campaign.

With the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, the country’s largest opposition party, the Congress Party, has sent a notice to the Income Tax Department to pay debts of nearly Rs 1,800 crore. 135 crore rupees were withdrawn from their government accounts without informing them earlier. Not only this, all their bank accounts have been frozen. The Congress party is correct in saying that the government did this 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 all of them are leaving their party to join BJP due to the fear of government investigation agencies. For example, recently an Aam Aadmi Party leader left the party. ED just raided them here. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chauhan and former Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar were threatened with imprisonment by the Prime Minister himself. Now both are in BJP.

The Indian Express, after reviewing the records of 25 such opposition party leaders who joined the BJP, said the cases against 23 of them were closed after joining the BJP. In this way, the opposition parties are broken. It also creates an illusion among the people that the opposition parties are panicking because of the fear of defeat and there is nothing they can do.

If we look at the role of the big media these days, it is seen to be openly promoting the BJP and Narendra Modi. After the announcement of the elections, media platforms arrange programs where the Prime Minister and other government ministers get full opportunity to campaign. The media also spread the idea to the people that the opposition is weak, the prime minister should remain popular and there is no alternative to him.

The government is trying to shut down media similar to these big media under one pretext or another. Many popular YouTube channels critical of the government have taken notices or been shut down. In this way, people have no way to know the opinion of any party other than the government.

From the first day of the election campaign, BJP propagandists including the Prime Minister started dividing the voters on communal lines. Narendra Modi said that every page of the Congress party’s election manifesto has the imprint of the Muslim League. Apart from this, they called the opposition parties anti-Ram and asked people to teach them a lesson. They obviously violated the election code of conduct. But will his designated Election Commission be able to ban him?

Foreign countries are watching all this. This is the first time in the history of independent India that the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations felt it necessary to make a statement that he hoped that all civil and constitutional which rights are protected. .will go And all the people can freely participate in the election. Is their concern unreasonable?

This election is very important for the future of democracy in India. It should be clear that at this time all the constitutional institutions of India have decided that they will work for the BJP and the media has taken over the role of its propaganda. The hands and feet of the opposition parties are tied. In this situation, the only hope is from the people that they will understand all this and do their part.

(Apurananda taught at Delhi University.)

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