Come elections, and you’ll find them joining their palms before you. You won’t ever see them after the elections. That’s what politicians are. That’s my experience. But a friend of mine tells me that it’s because I don’t know how to make the connections. This friend promised to get my certain govt-related work done simply through one such political connection. “You come with me, sit in the (concerned) office, sip the Pepsy they’ll offer, and your work will be done.” I knew he meant it. He added that I wouldn’t even have to pay any bribe; rather I’d be treated as a VIP.
The same friend revealed a secret to me just after one of the candidates left after seeking votes with joined palms. “You know, the former MLA of the same party is asking us not to vote for this man.” I did not understand. I don’t understand politics easily. So my friend explained: “The former MLA was defeated in the last Assembly elections. Now it’s the MCD (Municipal Council of Delhi) elections. If this fellow wins this election, the former MLA will be dumped by the party. Every victory matters much in politics. Every defeat is a death knell.”
“What about the party? Don’t they have any consideration for the party?” I ventured to ask.
“The party is just a facade,” smirked my friend.
My friend is right. I know. I have seen people coming to canvass for candidates. Many of them are my ex-students. I have seen them coming to canvass for different parties in different elections. I’m beginning to understand politics. Once I even saw a former student of mine coming to canvass for two different candidates in the same election! He will be a genuine politician in the future, I think. He knows how to gamble.
The elections to the MCD are going to be held on Sunday next. The Association of Democratic Reforms reports that 139 criminals are contesting the elections. Their crimes range from murder, attempted murder and kidnapping to stealing. There are 39 BJP candidates who face serious criminal charges. Just yesterday the sitting BJP Councillor (who is also a candidate in the current elections), Madhav Prasad, was arrested for killing a fellow party worker.
The Congress has fielded 28 criminals in the MCD elections. There are 19 criminals among the BSP candidates and 4 among the SP ones.
The only consolation, according to the report, seems to be that while the percentage of criminal candidates among men is 14.3, it is only 9.14 among women. I think our women need to work a little harder to attain equality with men.
Ultimately, politics means just this: Vote for me.
And make personal connections if you have works to be done.