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Friday, December 8, 2017

Indian elections ~ RK nagar by-poll - how difficult is contesting in Election ??

Elections are in some ways festivals in India and by-elections are bonanza to some.  All eyes are on RK NagaR  constituency  that fell  vacant after the death of former Chief minister  Ms J Jayalalithaa. The bypoll is a prestige issue as it sees the United AIADMK back with twin leaves, opposition DMK and split ADMK.  Disappointed at the rejection of his nomination papers for RK Nagar bypoll, Tamil actor Vishal Krishna said he is mourning the “death of democracy”. "What we are witnessing is the systematic and effectual death of democracy in our country. Every democratic norm is being reduced to a mockery," news agency IANS quoted him as saying.  ~ what does common man say ?

In every election, every contestant says his aim is to serve the common man – the man on the streets, does his life change ? does anyone really care him after the elections ?? – and is contesting elections so difficult ??

Way back in 1951, the 1st Indian General Elections were held ~ there were 62 Parliamentary constituencies in Madras Presidency.  From Pathapatnam – VV Giri was elected;  Vizianagaram – Kandala Subramaniaml; Vijayawada – Harindranath Chatopadhyya;  Nandyal – Seshagiri Rao; Tirupathi – M Ananthasayanam Ayyangar; Madras – TT Krishnamachari; Thiruvallur – Maragatham Chandrasekhar were among the winners.

In the Madras Assembly elections held in 1951 there were 309 constituencies and in Triplicane constituency – AM Sambandam defeated Independent MS Abdul Majeed. Contesting elections has never been considered an herculean task – in the present election to be held in RK Nagar too, there are 59 candidates in fray – Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party,  All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, DMK, Desiya Makkal katchi, Naam Tamilar, Ezhuchi Tamilargal munnetra kazhagam,  Puratchi thalaivar Makkal munnetra kazhagam, Socialist Unity cenre of India, Namathu Kongu Munnetra Kazhagam, United States of India Party and Kamarajar Deseeya Congress are the parties in fray; while PMK, TMC have not put up candidates ~ and there are 47 independent candidates ! – so would one consider becoming a candidate so difficult as voiced by the actor and Deepa.

Some of the conditions to be met include opening of a separate bank account by each candidate for election expenditure.  It is specified that this account shall be opened at least one day before the date on which the candidate files his nomination papers. The Account Number of this bank account shall be communicated by the candidate in writing to the returning officer at the time of filing of his nomination. All election expenditure shall be made by the candidate only from this bank account . All money to be spent on electioneering shall be deposited in this bank account irrespective of its funding from any source including candidate’s own fund.

In India, one of  the basic qualifications for candidature at an election to Parliament or the Legislature of a State is that the person concerned should be an elector. The nomination paper must be in the prescribed form. For election to the House of the People (LokSabha), the nomination paper must be in Form 2-A. For election to a Legislative Assembly (VidhanSabha), the nomination paper must be in Form 2-B  - the forms, the rules are all available in the website of Election commission, which also displays the affidavits filed by all the candidates. 

In earlier days, candidates used to come in a procession displaying their pomp and affecting the traffic. Keeping this in view, the maximum number of vehicles that is allowed to come within the periphery of 100 metres of ROs/AROs Office has been restricted to three and the maximum number of persons allowed to enter the Office of ROs/AROs at the time of filing nomination has been limited to five (including the candidate.   The candidate has to be 25 years of age and should place before the EC, his assets as also whether he is convicted or cases pending.

Under the amended section 33 of the Representation of the People Act. 1951, the nomination of a candidate at the election to the House of the People or a State Legislative Assembly shall be required to be subscribed by- (i) One elector of the constituency as proposer, if the candidate has been set up either by a recognised National party or by a recognised State party in the State or States in which it is recognised as a State party (ii) Ten (10) electors of the constituency as proposers, if the candidate has been set up by a registered un recognised political party or if he is an independent candidate.

This actor was engaged in a verbal dual with  Election Commission’s office on Tuesday as his papers were rejected.  The actor took to Twitter to express his disappointment. 

Tailpiece  :  those following politics will know the name of K Padmarajan from Salem, who has contested more than 150 elections, including filing for the Presidential elections.  His name figures in Limca book of records as most unsuccessful candidate ~ yet he know the knack of filing nomination successfully.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th Dec 2o17. 

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