Switching sides a threat to democracy: freedom fighter

Pandit Ramkishan

Getting nostalgic about parliamentary elections, a 93-year-old politician and founder member of the Congress Socialist Party said that switching sides and opportunism is the biggest threat to Indian democracy. 

Pandit Ramkishan, former parliamentarian and four-time MLA from Bharatpur, reminisced the political scenario of India over the past nine decades during an interaction on ‘Elections Now and Then’.

"The way political parties take credits for the hard work done by armed forces is not acceptable at all. There has been a decline in values and operation of political parties in India. He said that those who fail to fulfil promises made in the party manifesto and forget them without any consequences should be prosecuted.

Fondly known as Pandit Ji in the political circuits, Ramkishan has witnessed elections since the first one in 1952. 

Ramkishan pointed out how the massive expenditure in elections is making it impossible for a candidate like him and the poor to contest elections. While recalling his active political days he remembered how his opponent helped him with the depositing of money.

"In 1967, I was short of money and it is strange and unbelievable in present times but the then district Congress committee treasurer, who was my opponent, gave me money. Later he lost and I won but we never have been disrespectful to each other."

Narrating another instance from the old days, which he considered were less malicious, he added, "Nowadays I see how politicians become disrespectful to each other. They call each other by names. I still remember my opponent and I delivered a lecture from a common stage". 

When asked what are the key issues of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Ramkishan said, "Unemployment and agrarian crises are the major issues. However, polarisation on the basis of caste and religion cannot to looked upon because nowadays people do not vote on the basis of manifestos neither on development".

Ramkishan the only surviving founder member of the Socialist Party, which was formed post Independence, has campaigned three elections on his cycle and used the car and jeep in the fourth Assembly elections. 

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Switching sides a threat to democracy: freedom fighter


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