The season of General Election is back. The Election Commission of India on March 10 has announced that the election will take place from April 11 till May 19. The counting of votes and the result announcement is likely to take place on May 23. Code of Conduct came live from the moment the election schedule got announced. The world’s largest democracy is getting ready to elect its choice and seal its fate for the next 5 years.
The election of 2019 is scheduled to take place in 7 phases. Using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines all over the country is a new measure towards increasing the efficacy of elections. Though simultaneous elections were pushed to a large extent, it could not materialise in the intended form due to various reasons. However, simultaneous elections are planned in 4 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Odisha.
What is election all about?
Our forefathers have strived hard to attain independence. They have toiled till death to achieve this great feat. Today, the Preamble of our Constitution describes our country as a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. The Preamble is considered to be the utmost guiding principle of our country. Our Constitution makers not only have added Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity to the Preamble, but have dedicated it to the citizens of the country by telling ‘We…..hereby adopt, enact and give ourselves this Constitution’.
We have to be aware that the election is not only about voting. It is to make a rational choice to uphold the fundamental principles of our Constitution and to stand for the Nation. Each vote decides the fate of 1.3 billion people of India. Not only this, we will be determining the future of India on a global platform and in terms of complex geopolitics of the region. Our choice is not to just pick a party or candidate to decorate the highest positions of the country; it is to uphold the constitutional values and live up to the expectations and struggles of our freedom fighters.
Responsibility bestowed upon us:
When we chose democracy over other options, it was with the consideration that citizens are the supreme power of our nation. Citizens through informed choice have to give the mandate to a responsible government which can take care of the legacy of the country, lead it towards betterment, protect the country against any kind of internal or external aggression and voice itself on a global platform. In turn, these responsibilities lie on our shoulders in the form of providing us the right to vote.
Now that the code of conduct has kicked in, a strict vigilance is maintained on all political parties and their activities. Taking a cue from the social media campaigns of 2015 general elections, the Election Commission has come up with many guidelines for the candidates regarding social media campaigns. Along with declaration of assets, the candidates now have to provide the details of their social media accounts. And also, political advertisements need a pre-certification with their budget included in the election expenditure account. EC has also introduced an app called ‘cVIGIL’ which help citizens report any violation of the code of conduct; the option of anonymous reporting is given too. This has to be utilised effectively without political mudslinging. A website named https://electoralsearch.in/ is launched to help identify the polling booth of every individual and this eases the process of election.
Election Commission is doing its best to conduct free and fair elections across the geography of India. With a vast geography, it is challenging to conduct polls across the length and breadth of the country, but EC has been successful in doing so. With the recent attacks of Pulwama and increased infiltration in the Kashmir region, it will be challenging to conduct polls in that part. Nevertheless, the previous poll figures show the increased voter turnout even in such areas. Our part lies in making the entire process a success by being responsible citizens and choosing an able candidate to lead the country. The ball lies in our court; we need to be aware of the candidates who will be representing us. We have to make sure our representative will be worth our vote. Each and every one has to vote without fail, not for the sake of election but to save our country and its ideals.