Monday, June 29, 2009

The Right to call back an MP

In India this is the time of General Elections, the biggest festival of democracy, and the results will determine who will rule India for the next five years. Next five years!!! not one or two. As we cant conduct election in every year - It will cost too much; and government will be unable to take any unpopular but necessary decisions in the case of yearly year election process. After all they have to satisfy the people atleast in the election year.

In private industry there is annual appraisals - how the person is doing his/her job? whether he is an asset or liability for the company. If he is an asset, then, whether he have to be promoted or not? Is he eligible for a salary hike or not? If he is a liability, then whether it is necessary to give him time to correct himself or have to fire righ now? many such decisions are taken depanding upon apprisals. It will be different for different companies.

But in the case of elections, people doesnt have a second chance. Once elected, its for five years, no matter what policies he continue. And usually they dont even have the chance to reject the candidates. There is not column in the voting mechine saying that "I vote against all candidates". The only possiblity available now is a rule called 49-o in the "Conduct of Election Rules,1969". Which state that

"Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark."

But even if the number of people who didnt recorded their vote according to 49-o is greater than that of winning candidate, the polling will not be cancelled, and the candidates will not be barred from future elections.

But how long these things should go on? If we consider the people of a constituency as share holders of a company, MP/MLA or whatever his post is an employee. If shareholder want to fire the employee due to his inaction or action against the best interests of society, then? there is no choice for the society, they have to wait for 5 years - upto the time of next election.

Atleast two more rules should be added to "Conduct of Election rules". One is for the right to vote against all candidates and the second one is the right to call back. If Russians can allow "vote against all candidates" in their election process, what is the problem with that clause in Indian General Election? If Election Commission of India can conduct election on this scale [Over 5 million election officials conducted the election over 800,000 polling stations, in 1999 General Election] the recalling process will not be a difficult one. And recalling process should be based on the solid evidence against the person and should not be based on speculations and for the sake of a reelection.

On the other side participation of people in the election process is not upto the markin 2004 General Elections only 370 million out of the 675 million eligible citizens recorded their votes; and in most cases this situation is likely to repeat. If a person is not ready to participate in the process, then how he will be eligible to criticize for each and every decisions taken by Government?

Record your vote.. Long live democracy..


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