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Winnability & democracy - Where do we stand?
After the declaration of 2014 Lok Sabha elections' date, model code of conduct comes in to force. So is opportunist code of conduct also for political parties while assigning tickets. All leave moral high standings that were prime and basic for finalisation of ideology and manifesto, rather focus on buzz word 'Winnability' in deciding the candidates to contest election.

It doesn't matter whether the selected candidate has a tainted record or not. Winning the constituency is the only criteria! In fact all parties including the new revolution called AAP took this excuse. Their argument is always tailor-made and suitable to escape from hard questions!

For example, the Congress's argue for having tie-up with RJD is that though Lalu is convicted, but there are people in RJD who are not convicted! In any case Lalu is not contesting, thus how can one question to Congress-RJD alliance! Simple and straight answer to make many answerless! But the question which was escaped is that if someone works under a convict, how can he or she 0is innocent?

Anyway, this problem is common to all parties and there is no point in writing everyone?s excuse. However, this Winnability term is somehow connected to democracy and as a stakeholder of the democracy we must have some introspection on this buzz word!

'Winnability' is a term in fact discovered by Pyari Mohan Mohapatra of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) while divorcing BJP from the NDA alliance in Odisha during 2009. Although this term in separate names dominated in finalizing candidates, alliances and posturing in past, but lets give the credit to Mohapatra for coining the word.

Winnability is not a dictionary word, although it has to be accommodated in dictionaries soon because of its frequent use in nowadays electoral politics. The meaning is the competency of wining an election by a candidate or alliance in an election irrespective of its tainted and criminal record!

Let me give an easy example to understand the issue of winnability. A minister in charge of some portfolio, say for example railways, is a very corrupt leader. To win an election he doesn?t need endorsement of entire country of 543 LS seats. He needs to win one LS seat only. Thus, if he favors his constituency in railway sector heavily and did injustice to rest 542 LS constituencies, would he be defeated? No, he would be winning because of his work in his constituency irrespective of the fact that he was dishonest to rest of 542 LS constituencies!

This is called winnability! The capacity to win a seat/constituency is therefore 'Winnability'. Interestingly every post poll event numbers count not the character certificate of elected candidates. Thus winnability is somehow connected to a democratic term as endorsement of the people, the master of democracy! If people made somebody win, it's constitutional because tainted or no tainted, they enjoy support of masters of this democracy!

Well, there are some checks and balances imposed by Courts. Many political parties feel that Courts are crossing their Lakshman Rekhas, but Constitution somehow empowered the Supreme Court (luckily) as the final interpreter and arbitrator of a law or provision!

Some warn political parties not to field any tainted leader because if they are convicted, they would lose their membership during their tenure. But political parties understand very well that number is important to form a government. After formation of the government, if any MP loses membership due to conviction, the alternative would be always available!

Thus in the name of 'Winnability' the tainted, accused, convicted yet appealed and all other types of leaders known for taint but technically can contest the election would be selected for party interest. Winnability also qualifies as a democratic term as majority of people endorses one to be a representative despite being criminally accused by the law.

Therefore the buzz word for the upcoming election is 'Winnability'! Many criminals, undesirables and improper people are set to enter in to Parliament and more than pepper spray and brandishing knife is possible in 16th Lok Sabha because of this winnability term.

Is there any chance to defeat this winnability? My friend asked me. I have only one answer. Read on!

The Constitution starts with 'We the people...' We are the masters of this country as well as this democracy. If we as citizen want to keep up Constitutional spirit we can defeat so called winnable candidate (who made much development to our constituency although he is corrupt and did injustice to rest of constituencies that are also part of this democracy!) easily considering the greater national interest. If we see selfish interest and not concern with rest of the nation, how can we blame political parties for focusing on winnability of a particular constituency!

Finally, the democracy belongs to us. We need to belong this democracy. We can't demand our representatives to be honest and unbiased if we too are opportunists!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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