The Importance of my Earnest Vote in A Comedy of Errors

I voted in the 2014 Indian Lok Sabha elections today, after researching for many days about the different candidates up for election in Pune. I voted today after discovering yesterday that I was not voting in the Pune constituency at all, but in the Maval constituency. I had a few hours to learn more about the candidate scene in my constituency before I voted and here is what I discovered:

  • The NCP-Congress’ chosen candidate deserted them and stood as an independent
  • So the NCP-Congress poached a candidate from the Shiv Sena/BJP
  • The Shiv Sena/BJP denied a ticket for its sitting MP and chose an ex-Congressman instead
  • Dejected, the sitting Shiv Sena/BJP MP quit the party and joined the MNS instead
  • The MNS is supporting the independent candidate who quit the NCP-Congress

I struggled to choose between these earnest folks and thought I had made my choice until I discovered:

  • The Shiv Sena/BJP candidate (who chose ex-Congressman) Shrirang Barne had competition from another Shrirang Barne who somehow got a ticket from the JDU
  • The independent candidate Laxman Jagtap had competition from not one, but two other Laxman Jagtaps, also independents

(This is a common practice in Indian elections to dilute votes of your competitors by fielding candidates with the same names so gullible voters will not discern the right candidate.)

The situation seemed like a mix of The Comedy of Errors and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Given such a free exchange of candidates between parties amidst a comedy of triplets, I felt my earnest vote had no value left any longer.

Yet I voted. I voted because I felt it was my responsibility towards my country. I voted because it was my constitutional right. I voted to uphold my right as well as my responsibility. It feels good.

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  • Prerna Jain

    Not just about the candidate, Party also important this time!

    • Yes, except that, as one regional TV analyst put it, if you ask candidates in Maval which party they’re representing this time even they won’t be sure!

  • Brijwhiz

    I can understand how that last minute knowledge that you were in Maval would have hit you. For us who already knew this, it had been quite a fun ride for the last 2-3 weeks or so. In fact it seems to be some kind of record with 3 +2 names. And Shiv Sena made a lot of effort this time to remind people that bow and arrow is not the same as a only an arrow 😀

    I also voted for the same reasons. I know many people have not been able to vote, especially in Kothrud, due to issues with the final lists. We were luckier that we only had spelling mistakes.

    • Ah, I should have consulted the PCMC veteran before! 🙂 What a drama!

      Yeah, spelling mistakes here too. Both our names misspelled, luckily that wasn’t an issue.