On 5th March 2014, Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath announced that general elections for 2014 would be held in 9 phases, 1st phase of voting being scheduled on 7th April 2014 and 9th phase being scheduled on 12th May 2014. Counting of votes would take place on 16th May 2014. Thus model code of conduct is enforced from 5th March 2014 to 16th May 2014 for a period of 73 days. It’s the longest election period for any country.
<p>Election commissioner must have reasons to stretch
the election to such a long period, such as lack of paramilitary
forces, presence of LWE in some parts, sensitivity in some locations
etc. Till now the voter turnout is better than 2009 general
elections. The election also appears to be very smooth.</p>
<p>However I feel, this election is stretched too long.
It has wrong consequences too. For example the campaigning started on
very-good note of development, growth and public interest issues. As
the time passes away, parties started involving in derogatory barbs,
ugly comments and desperate moves to condemn each other.
<p>Although EC banned exit-polls, but every party has
its own psephologists to assess the possible outcome of every phase
of voting that completes. Their internal analysis makes them
desperate and forces them to come out with ways of means to
attract/polarize voters in to their favour. That’s why the Amit
Shahs, Giriraj Singhs, Ajam Khans, Abu Azmis became active in making
the campaign low and derogatory.
<p>That is perhaps why Sonia Gandhi, <a id="highlight" href="http://www.merinews.com/topics/person/rahul-gandhi">Rahul Gandhi</a> and
even <a id="highlight" href="http://www.merinews.com/topics/person/priyanka-gandhi">Priyanka Gandhi</a> started direct and personalised attacks on
Narendra Modi. Modi and BJP also started dirty tricks initially at
ground level and then at top level. They realize that Priyanka might
be becoming popular and somehow harming BJP’s prospect. Hence, they
released ‘Damadshri’ documentary. People started questions on the
late relase and no substantial answer to Modi’s Adani-link.
<p>Thus after being cornered BJP had released a power
point presentation clarifying Adani link alleging Congress for toffee
model. One can expect that in the remaining two phases Congress too
will come out with some documentary against BJP and its leadership
which would be in poor taste.
<p>Apart from these ugly turn of events during this
long campaign, it can also be realized that all star campaigners have
been suffering fatigue, they are just repeating the same thing time
and again. Problem is in this media dominated era, a rally at even a
remote place is being telecast by TV channels.
<p>In fact one’s vision, road-map and logic can be
explained hardly in 2-3 speeches. Thus what the star campaigners
would do addressing 3-4 rallies in a day for two months? Forget about
public, even the speakers would became bored! That’s perhaps why
the political leader during mid period, after 3<sup>rd</sup> Phase
started attacking each other personally, as they don’t have
anything to say on vision and roadmap.</p>
<p>General election is always a great celebration for
any democracy. In <a id="highlight" href="http://indianews.merinews.com">India</a> everyone is enthusiastic and gets excited
whenever general elections are declared. Because, it’s the time
they can hear different visions from different parties. They also
listen the light hearted criticism between party leaders. But two and
half month long campaign definitely makes people bored of such
campaigns, in fact public too suffer fatigue.</p>
<p>Thus in my opinion, the elections should be as short
as possible. I realize that in a country like India, total voting
can’t be done in one phase (although nothing is impossible),
however it can be done in many phases but there should maximum 15
days gap between 1<sup>st</sup> phase to last phase. If this
happens, then the real celebration, spirit of public, decency among
contesting parties can be maintained.
<p>I understand the problem for election commissioner
may be the resources particularly security forces. Can't the issue of
security force be sorted out if Army is roped in?
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