Hyderabad: Political leaders and the people of Telangana state are fed up with the series of elections, leaving them no time to relax and, more importantly perhaps, recoup their finances.
In the last four months, there have been three elections in Telangana, and now another two are coming up. Not surprisingly, voter fatigue has set in and this has reflected in the polling percentage in the Lok Sabha elections.
For the Telangana state Assembly elections held in December 2018, the polling was recorded at 73 per cent. Following this, the gram panchayat elections were held in four phases in January 2019. In the gram panchayat elections, state-level leaders had to coordinate with local leaders, as these elections were held on non-party basis. Voter turnout was recorded at 85 per cent. Within three months, the Lok Sabha elections were held and this time, the polling dropped to 62.69 per cent.
The leaders of main political parties might have planned to go for a summer vacation after one month of hectic campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, but local body elections are now looming, putting an end to their plans. The Telangana state Election Commission is likely to conduct zilla parishad and mandal parishad elections in three phases starting this month. After these, the Election Commission will conduct elections for the post of zilla parishad and mandal parishad chairpersons. These elections are on party basis. To keep a tight grip on their constituencies, the MLAs have to ensure that the members of both parishads are from their own party.
It will take till May 20 for these elections to be over. And on May 23, the Lok Sabha results will be announced, after which there will be more hectic political activity.
Apart from the time and energy spent on this series of elections, the financial burden is also high. Nowadays, money and liquor are an integral part of every election. In the Assembly elections, each candidate of main political parties spent Rs 20 crore to Rs 40 crore. In the Lok Sabha elections, the candidates spent between Rs 50 crore and Rs 75 crore.
Gram panchayat, zilla parishad and mandal parishad elections also require money. Zilla and mandal parishad elections are direct elections, but electing the chairmen of the two bodies are indirect. In zilla parishad and mandal parishad elections, if the winning margin is very narrow, the political parties have to seclude their elected members in 'camps' to avoid them being poached by another party....