Election 2009: Dilemma of Gautam Buddh Nagar Voters

I was in Salt Lake, Kolkata for the last two and a half months for winding up some landed property near Hind Motor factory. I was also to find another client for leasing the house of Salt Lake on rental. As it was getting delayed, I was getting restive. I wanted to leave Salt Lake as soon as possible to reach Noida in time before the Election Day. I am a voter only in Noida. Finally I left Salt Lake on April 16, 2009.

Since I have come, I am busy in getting our election identity cards corrected, as our names have been removed from our sector. The election in Noida will be on May 7, 2009. I have been writing on the problems of the voters. Who can help us in getting us know more about the candidates. If we can’t get involved in selecting the candidates as citizens, at least we must know sufficiently well about the candidates in race. I tried to get the help of TOI as they publish a special pull out for NCRs very week. But I didn’t get any response.

I waited for the affidavits to come on election commission’s website. And now it is available. Unfortunately, it is in Hindi. And as it appears to me, the candidates are very casual in putting their details. I wish the election commissions could have sought the suggestions from the voters’ focus groups to make the information voters-friendly.

Strangely, 26 candidates are in fray with around dozen as independents too. Besides four known strong political parties of UP i.e. Indian National Congress, Samajbadi Party, Bahujan Samaj, and BJP, candidates of some ten other parties are also fighting the battle. I wonder if the numbers could be restricted somehow to around 4-5. Electoral reforms are must in the national interest.

I have tried to look at the affidavits of the candidates of the four main parties. Perhaps age wise, all the candidates are of the right age between 40-60 years, not too old as in many constituencies.

Because of my lack of knowledge of legal aspects, I can’t judge the severity of their crimes. But all the four have listed the multiple cases against them. Some keep rifle and revolver too. I don’t know if it is for self defense or for status, or for crime. I wish someone knowledgeable looks into the affidavits and enlighten me about the criminality aspect of the candidates, if he thinks the voters must know about it.

On basis of education, the Congress candidate is better placed as Ph.D and as author of number of books and papers. He is professor by profession. But I doubt if his capability is better than others to serve the community. He had been MP, but he doesn’t mention his achievements in his handouts. The handout of the Congress candidate has his e-mail address. I wrote to him asking his plans for Noida’s development. Can he get a captive power plant for Noida? Can he get a water treatment plant to ensure the quality drinking water for Noidites? Unfortunately he didn’t reply. Interestingly, the Congress candidate has a website too and has been a four-time BJP MP from Ghaziabad.

BJP candidate is an MBBS from University college of Medical Sciences, Delhi University. I don’t know how good he is as doctor. He owns two big hospitals Kailash, in and around Noida. The hospitals are doing good business, and are moderate in consultancy charges. We did also find it pretty good when we visited it for certain treatments. The hospitals are popular with middle class Noidites and retired government officers too. Will he get a dispensary or health care centre in each village of the constituency and use telemedicine to provide the quality services to the local patients? I wish the doctor makes it part of his manifesto.

Samajbadi Party has put in the least qualified candidate. He is only intermediate. As it appears, there were problem in selection of SP candidate.

The BSP candidate is a commerce graduate, and perhaps owns a flourishing food products business.

All of them appear to be pretty rich. Perhaps unlike in past, the personal assets have become the necessary parameter to get the nomination of the bigger parties. The party fund used to come to help a candidate in good old days. It is no more a practice or it may be reserved for bigger leaders.

It is interesting that I could find the names of the candidates and some information through Google search too. I am also surprised that some are setting up their websites for election purposes, but those are still not ready.

BSP has selected a very resourceful candidate who can deploy all his management tricks and money power with Maya’s social engineering to win the race. He is an industrialist (BRS Foods Ltd and ‘Paras’ brand) and multimillionaire. And see what types of loose talks are spread to win. I asked a local who sometimes accompany me in my morning walk. When I asked him about the prospect of the doctor, please note what he said. “Sir, the people will not make him win. He has sucked their money in the name of treatment. Who will vote him?” He was seeing BSP winning with thumping majority. Perhaps the BSP candidate may be of his caste. If BSP candidate wins, the local’s prophecy will come correct. And if he wins, will he encourage the villagers to keep cows and buffaloes and ensure that each village gets a milk collection centre so that the villagers can get some daily earning?

Unfortunately, I have not met with any of the candidates of Noida, and so must be the majority of the senior residents in Noida. I got reminded of a similar election in USA during my last visit. I saw a candidate standing with some of his followers on a crossing and shaking hands with passersby. I was amazed. I did also talk with him. Why don’t the candidates in India try to have first hand contact with voters? I feel they want to remain at a higher platform and love to keep distance with the common people.

I wish the voters share their experiences about the candidates, so that the right candidates can be selected. But I appeal as usual to vote for one of the two candidates from the major national political parties-BJP or Congress and not the other two as they have not been able to pull up the development parameters of UP during their rule.

But never vote for any candidate who has changed side and opportunist and if you know that he is criminal or corrupt.

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