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.