Every Vote Counts - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Every Vote Counts

By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 11, 2024 11:09 pm

With the Lok Sabha election campaign gaining momentum ahead of the polling, which will commence on April 19, political parties and coalitions, especially the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP and the newly formed Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc led by the INC, are trying to woo voters with an array of promises as well as indulging in political mudslinging to earn brownie points. The election fever has reached Nagaland too, though less in intensity compared to other parts of the country. The BJP had announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and others as its star campaigners, while its arch-rival Congress had included party chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others in its list. Till date, none of them have come to the state for campaigning, but this is not unexpected for a state with only one parliamentary seat. It is understandable when political parties concentrate more on bigger fish, though at the cost of depriving smaller states of expressing their grievances with big names in national politics who frame policies. Interestingly, the state is making much noise this time even in the absence of prominent politicians from the Centre, with the People’s Democratic Alliance (NDPP-BJP) and the Congress intensifying their campaign trail, attacking each other on the lines of ideology, achievements and failures, and of course bringing back the election-time favourite topic – the Naga political issue. What political parties seem to forget is the fact that throwing insults at their opponents instead of speaking about their policies could be counterproductive. Voters want to know what political parties and candidates will do if elected, not personal attacks.

Well, it appears like the contest is going to be more intense than expected in Nagaland, despite the PDA consensus candidate Dr. Chumben Murry enjoying the support of all 60 legislators of the state assembly, with the Congress throwing in all its weight behind its candidate S Supongmeren Jamir. The entry of independent candidate Hayithung Tungoe Lotha has made the contest for the state’s lone parliamentary seat even more interesting. Unfortunately, the decision of the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) to abstain from participating in the Lok Sabha election over the Frontier Nagaland Territory issue has marred the campaigning, at least in its jurisdiction. Notwithstanding this development, the interest generated by this general election is encouraging, especially in the backdrop of the Election Commission’s data showing less enthusiasm among the voters of north-eastern states in Lok Sabha polls compared to assembly elections. Nagaland topped the voting percentage in the 2019 general elections but it was still lower than the voter turnout in the state assembly polls. This points to the need for creating awareness about the importance of electoral participation while doing away with proxy voting, which is not uncommon in the state. People should know the importance of voting in a democracy. One vote and one parliamentary seat can change a country’s future, for better or for worse.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 11, 2024 11:09:19 pm
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