Karnataka goes to polls on Sunday, May 5 and nearly 35 lakh first time voters are going to be out on the streets to the discomfort of the politicians.
For long, the political parties have resorted to time-tested method of block voting from slums and purchased votes or community votes. Time has come to show the decision making power of literate India.
Anybody reading this article has the power to check information about their candidates (http://ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in/HomePage_New.aspx), and they should do that.
Chose a candidate carefully and vote. Otherwise take the route adopted by BPAC. It has endorsed 14 candidates based on certain norms set by the organisation.
Their attempt is for Bangalore candidates, but it can be universal rule in selecting your representative.
Here are the BPAC's criteria:
1. A record of public service, public standing and visibility in Bangalore.
2. Level of Education.
3. Filed income tax returns, if they were required by law to do so.
4. No criminal record with any conviction for offences involving moral turpitude/ Not been involved, directly or indirectly, or associated with any sectarian or fundamentalist groups.
5. No record of misuse of any public office for private gain.
6. No history of violence/abuse (whether convicted in a court of law or not), particularly against women or children.
7. No direct financial or other conflict of interest between their personal dealings and the public office they aspire to join.
8. A good knowledge of the governance of Bangalore city and understanding of e-governance.
Some of the information may not be available about the candidates but at least a beginning should be made.
In 2008 elections, the state of Karnataka recorded a overall voter turnout of 64.91 per cent . The average in the 28 segments of Bangalore was a low 47.3 per cent.
The lowest was in Sarvajnanagar in the city at 35.40 per cent.
By thumb rule, the politician would have calculated how much would be his/her committed voters (both by choice and purchased). But, the higher the percentage of votes, higher is the uncertainty of prediction of results.
Go out, vote and give 72 hours of nightmares to the political class, even in Delhi.
Karnataka's poll facts:
- Total electorate: 4,36,36,966, male: 2,22,84050, female: 2,13,52,916.
- Bangalore voters: 70,37,885
- Net addition of voters since January 28: 18 lakh, including six lakh in Bangalore.
- Total candidates - 2948, women candidates - 170.
- Constituency with maximum number of candidates - Bellary (29)
- Constituencies with minimum number of candidates - Yenkanamaradi and Mudhol (5 each)
- Polling stations - 52,034
- Highly sensitive booths (prone to disturbance/violence): 10,103; Sensitive: 14,209
- Vigilance squads: 2,000, each of five members, including a photographer and a videographer
- Officials on poll duty: 253,000
- Police personnel on poll duty: 48,182; Another 100,000 more will be on duty to maintain law and order
- Assembly constituencies: 224 (Voting will take place in 223 polling has been countermanded in Periyapatna following the death of the BJP candidate
- The Congress is contesting all the 224 seats, BJP: 223, JD-S: 222, KJP: 224, BSP: 175, NCP: 24 and Communist Party of India-Marxist: 17.
- The remaining 1,839 candidates are largely independents and some are from the Janata Dal-United, Samajwadi Party and unrecognized parties and independents.