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'Mockery of democracy': Distributing tickets to turncoats, film stars or celebrities

By Sudhansu R Das* 
The candidates’ capacity to spend and win elections is not his real capacity to protect the interest of the state. So, distributing tickets on the basis of the candidates’ chance of winning is a political blunder because it excludes a large number of leaders who can’t spend but are quite capable of contributing to improve the governance and quality of life in the country.
Distributing tickets to turncoats, film stars or celebrities without knowing their real contribution to society is a mockery of democracy. A large number of potential young leaders face exclusion for life time because they can’t spend money on election campaigns. 
What is the use of living in a political party for life time which can’t support the dedicated workers to become public representatives? The interest of the party and the nation is above the whims and fancy of the Supremos.
Political parties randomly pick up non-party members to contest elections at the last moment. Major political parties in Odisha should understand the sentiments of their workers and give tickets to the deserving candidates only.
They can choose from the general public but the candidates should be good; he may not have enough money to spend on a high profile election campaign but has the capacity and the vision to contribute for nation building. The political parties should meet the election expenditure of those candidates.
There is no dearth of brave scholars, academicians, journalists, social workers, experienced farmers, skilled artisans, saints and seers in Odisha; they should be given party tickets to contest election before it is too late and they become too far from politics. Political parties which are flushed with donations from electoral bonds have the opportunity to distribute tickets to the capable people in the society.
A rich man, a rich cricketer, a rich industrialist and a rich film actor can win the election, but what will he do post election? A few of them have really contributed to nation building in the past many decades. The rest have remained absent maximum hours during the parliament and assembly sessions; this is a colossal waste only.
Now BJP, BJD and Congress should immediately withdraw tickets distributed to those people and give the tickets to the candidates who can protect the economic, social and cultural interest of the state. Over decades,
Odisha has lost its precious border land, language, culture, natural resources, crop diversity, precious temple idols and water bodies because the parties have given tickets to undeserving candidates to fight elections. The state has lost too much and the people have suffered endlessly. Time has come to correct the past mistake.
When an election is declared, many opportunist leaders hop from one party to another; they read the direction of the wind and jump in that direction. Those leaders take advantage of the weak leadership of the party and easily enter into a new party just before the election.
Many unknown new faces without any contribution to society and the state get tickets. The centrist parties of India, the BJP and the Congress, should have a strong policy to prevent turncoats' entry into their parties; they can sabotage democracy.
The nation should have strong laws to eradicate the turncoats and party hoppers for the safety of the democracy. Indian intellectuals, judiciary, media, social reformers, saints and seers should wake up to stop the hazard of turncoat politics.
The centrist parties should not look at the face value of the candidates; they should not give tickets to people with celebrity status or some glamour attached without judging their contribution to the society. A film star is useful in cinema only and he may not be able to serve the state.
Political candidates should know the pulse of the people, the economy and the culture of the state; they should know the status of unemployment, farmers, weavers, artisans, industries, services sector, small businessmen, water bodies, crop diversity and the social environment etc.
Anybody with a film background or with money power should not make a cakewalk into any centrist party. Politics is a seva and not a Bhog Bilas which no candidate should aspire to get it through politics.
The state media should help good candidates to win elections. Media should educate and inform people about the candidates’ capacity to govern. Without the support of the media, it is not possible for any turncoat to win an election; it is not possible for any party to win an election with bad candidates.
The media in Odisha can play a key role to project good candidates irrespective of party. The electoral battle is about to begin. The sound of the Panchajanya is heard. The media, intellectuals, youth and conscious citizens have to decide which side they should choose.

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