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Bihar Election: Why EC has failed to curb money power in elections?, Bihar assembly election, bihar election news updates, Bihar news

Bihar Election: Why EC has failed to curb money power in elections?
Bihar Election 2015Ever since T N Seshan days the Election Commission has been talking about curbing money and muscle powers. To much extent it has succeeded in checking the muscle power, though at places voters are still terrorized and influenced through different means.

Booth grabbing has come down so is the poll day violence. But cases of defects in EVMs and allegations that they are being tampered are often made by various parties.
It is other thing that Maoists often trigger land mine blasts during this occasion.
As the display of muscle power is confined to the polling day it is relatively easy to check it by making proper security arrangements.
But what about money power, whose blatant misuse starts well before the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect. By advancing the date of their election campaign the parties cunningly circumvents any move to check the misuse of money power.
For example, in all practical purposes the ruling JD(U) launched its campaign on June 8 itself when the chief minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated “Bihar At 2025”. The Janata Dal (United) inducted Prashant Kishor, the brain behind the ‘’Chai Pe Charcha’. His team launched a media blitz with big hoardings of Nitish Kumar at various locations with catchy slogans like ‘Aage Badhta Rahe Bihar’, ‘Phir Ek Bar Nitish Kumar’ (Bihar continues to develop once again Nitish Kumar).
Similarly in 2014 Lok Sabha election the BJP under Narendra Modi carried out the most expensive election campaign ever in the history. It in fact launched the campaign well before the election dates were announced. But the Election Commission was helpless.
Thousands of crores were spent but nobody––neither the media nor the EC––dared to ask a question. Paid news flooded the market yet the Election Commission looked the other way round.
Our anchors, several of them self-appointed judges and custodians of democracy, seldom debated the issue as the organizations in which they are serving are the direct beneficiary of this lavish expenditure.The cosmetic action of the EC were simply meaningless.
The coming Assembly election in Bihar is heading for another electoral extravaganza. Nitish Kumar, who was no match to the BJP in the last Lok Sabha election, has adopted the same tricks to beat the BJP in its own turf.
But the past record suggests that the BJP has always outplayed its rival in spending moeney in the election. They have well-oiled propaganda machinery. Nitish always equates them with Hitler’s propaganda minister Goebbels, who would tell a lie hundred times to suggest that it is true.
If that is so why has Nitish adopted the same strategy? Nitish has worked with the BJP for 17 long years and has copied many of its tricks in the past too.
But the same strategy does not succeed twice. If Prashant Kishor style clicked last time will it work again in 2015 too?
Many political observers have doubt about it. They say that if Nitish-led alliance really wins the election again it would be more because of his party’s alliance with the RJD and not because of imitating BJP in the campaign style.
Though the recent media blitz of the JD(U) took the BJP by surprise its leaders are not going to sit down idly. They are putting their heads together to come up with their own campaign strategy.
But be it Narendra Modi or Nitish Kumar what they need to understand is that the high-profile election campaign has its own limitations. It does not click all the time.
Rajiv Gandhi took the help of an advertisement firm but was voted out in 1989. Yes, Modi won last year, but the Congress lost more because of the incumbency factor––though the propaganda too played its role. But the same propaganda did not work in the Delhi Assembly election earlier this year.
Modi himself campaigned. He pressed into service many of his cabinet ministers and party MPs. The saffron party took help of television channels and opinion polls. But nothing worked. There are many such examples.
What is more serious is that there is hardly anyone in the civil society to raise objection on the ever rising expenditure in election campaign and manifold increase in the budget of Election Commission.
Overuse of propaganda machinery is nothing but scientific rigging. The poor parties/candidates can not match the rich.


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