Sunday 18 November 2018

"Cash for Vote" OR "Age-Old Practice" | Uttarakhand BJP MLA caught giving Cash

Written by Anil Singh

Had BJP MLA been caught on video distributing Cash just a couple of days before the civic elections?... If yes, then can Ganesh Joshi defend it?

The BJP MLA had denied he was giving money with an eye on the civic elections

According to multiple news reports online and in media, the BJP legislator in Uttarakhand was seen on video giving Rs. 100 notes to people.

On the face of it the act looks like a violation of the election code of conduct, as the civic polls are due on November 18.

In the video, the said MLA was reported to be seen distributing Rs. 100 notes to women during a Chhath Puja celebration in his constituency (in Dehradun).

In his defence the MLA has pointed to an age-old practice where women apply tilak on the foreheads of their brothers, and as a blessing the brothers do give gift money or a gift to their sisters. The MLA claimed that it has nothing to do with the upcoming civic elections (Chhath Puja on 14th November, Uttarakhand civic elections on 18th November); and the rivals are unnecessarily shouting about it.

From the MLA's own account, he in fact distributed cash just 4 days before an election, when model code of conduct is in force.

So there are a couple of questions which need to be asked here.

If brothers have to gift their sisters during Chhath Puja, then why had the MLA gone in such celebration?
Even if he went there, wasn't he duty bound to follow the model code of conduct, before any age-old tradition?
Will the same logic be applied if some age-old practice of other religion or faith makes elders, brothers or anyone give cash or gift; and a politician starts making such gifts that too during the period of model code of conduct?
How about the distribution of liquor during the period of model code of conduct?.... For a section of men, liquor is as enticing as cash.
Will it be wrong for a voter to see the BJP MLA's act as some vote collecting mechanism from small pockets of voters?... which many a time swing the election result in one's favor.

From the look of it, the act of MLA Ganesh Joshi seems a clear violation of model code of conduct.

That said, many among us choose not to vote in an election.

We must vote.

It is a power which must be exercised. Gram Panchayat and Civic elections must not be ignored at any cost. For two reasons:
1) It is about exercising our choice or making a decision and;
2) The quality of work done by those voted by people the last time is easily verified. This usually is not the case for MLA and MP elections, where big promises are difficult to verify.


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