Voters to have their say in manifesto for polls

Expect partiese to address problems specific to individual constituencies

Elections are said to be ‘genuine face of democracy’ during which voters hold reigns and leaders act as they are deemed to be, servants of citizens.

Following the elections to the urban local bodies, which were dubbed as ‘semi-final’ to the  upcoming Assembly polls, the political parties have intensified campaigning to woo voters and voters too seem to be enjoying the short-lived attention heaped on them. 

Among the thousands of aspirants from across various political parties in the poll fray, the independents seem to be more in number than those contesting on party tickets. The political parties are approaching voters to know flavour of the season and their likes and dislikes for the ticket aspirants. The parties’ district unit leaders are approaching voters seeking their suggestions on choice of candidates and also issues they want to include in their manifesto.

Some of the parties have already declared their candidates. The process of selection of candidates in the five constituencies of Chikkaballapur district is in the final stages.

The citizens are not exactly yet concerned about who would contest – whether the elected representatives would fulfill the demands of the residents of the district is the question that matters to the voters.

All parties release their manifestos focusing on the ‘all-round development of the State’, but the citizens are not completely convinced the promises will convert into actions. Many citizens are cynical that the candidates will remember the issues mentioned in the manifestos only after five years, when the next elections near.

“The entire charade with the same promises and assurances while begging for votes is a five-year cycle. We can only expect a similar situation this time too,” they say.
In a sort of concurrence with scepticism of the citizens, party leaders too are discussing what issues to put forward and make promises about while campaigning this time. The help they are taking are from political experts and the common man.
Farmer leader G Ravindranath told Deccan Herald that implementation of permanent irrigation projects is the most popular issue of candidates and parties to impress the voters. The case had been so in the last Assembly and Lok Sabha elections too.

“Five years already up, but we have not seen any project implemented so far. Nor do we see signs of implementation in the near future. We only expect the candidates to bring up the matter of irrigation projects this time too, but nothing beyond,” he added.

“Chikkaballapur is, after all, an arid district, with rapidly decreasing groundwater level. We will therefore vote in favour of politicians who actually work for implementation of the irrigation projects, which are like a lifeline for the district residents,” he said, asking with scepticism what the citizens could do if the elected representatives fail to provide such facilities.

“The representatives should focus on issues rejuvenation and conservation of water bodies, animal husbandry and sericulture. Also, the district has a tag of being underdeveloped. The representatives  should work to remove the label by providing basic amenities. They should improve the law and order situation in Chikkaballapur, especially with regard to unlicensed and unabated quarrying and sand mining as well as protection of natural resources in the district,” demanded Ravindranath.

Worker leader Venkatesh criticised the attempts by candidates to woo voters using money and liquor. “The candidates should have a clear idea what to work on at taluk, district and regional levels, before making promises. The parties might bring out manifestos focusing on larger issues that affect the State as a whole, but every constituency and district have their own needs which candidates should keep in mind. The consciousness and awareness of voters on such matters should never be underestimated by the parties or the candidates,” he said.

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