The election day for the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly 2023 is rapidly approaching. The current elected legislators’ terms will expire on March 15, 2023. Just a few months ago, anyone who was interested in becoming a politician might see the hoopla of running for election in one constituency.
But the actual issue that the people of our wonderful State of Meghalaya need to ask is whether there is a real candidate for the position of our representative in the Legislative Assembly. It is important to remember that elections in India are quite crucial because, according to Article 326 of the Indian Constitution, we have the right to choose or elect our representatives. Therefore, we expect the candidate we choose to keep the commitments they prayed for during the campaign.
Money plays a significant role in elections in India and Meghalaya in particular. The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Meghalaya has warned that there will be some constituencies where money will be one of the key tools used by candidates to win an election. Some people claim that having crores of money is necessary if you intend to run for an election, but is that necessary to win an election? If so, we won’t have any real politicians to represent our citizens.
It is noteworthy to notice that many candidates for the Legislative Assembly election are announcing their candidature as a candidate from the XYZ Constituency merely nine or even four months before the election. The reason is that they want a position and respect from society more than they want to serve the people.
Many individuals overlook the fact that politicians must serve the people and ensure that the programs and policies will be advantageous to the majority of people. As voters, we must compel them to answer the question: “Can he or she visit and meet every single voter in his or her constituency and comprehend the issues that particular people face?” Or do they rely on visiting their voters before the election through the use of political agents?
If we wish to stop the use of money in elections, there must be a personal connection between the voters and the politicians. Candidates must prepare themselves far in advance, not just a year before the election if they are serious about running for election and serving the people.
The use of money in elections will not be effective if the candidate has a strong bond and understanding with his or her supporters. However, there is a significant likelihood that money power will prevail if someone declares themselves a candidate only a few months before the election because they won’t have much time to canvas the electorate.
For the elected representatives whose terms are about to end, remember, if you put in a lot of effort over the last four and a half years, it will be simple for you to win; however, if you slept over the past four and a half years and woke up just six months before the election, the door will be shown to you to exit on March 2, 2023. People are aware of the promises you made during the previous Assembly election, and on February 27, voters will determine whether you kept them or not. Based on your performance over the previous five years, the voters in your constituency will choose you as their representative. Because voters in 2023 will be more educated than candidates, keep in mind that outdated methods of canvassing during elections will not be effective.
Candidates who believe that using money will help them win the election should reconsider themselves. Just like students who cheat on exams to move up to a higher class, candidates will attempt to use the money to rig the election to become MLAs, but once they are elected, they won’t know what to do or what not to do as a member of the legislature.
The future of the State and society is in the hands of the electorate. You must decide whether the political party and candidate you are voting for will be able to help the state in terms of all-around development, creating employment for the youth, uplifting the education sector, medical sector, and others, as well as by looking to the future of the State and determining whether this or that will happen. You must consider the past ten years and consider whether any political parties in power have fulfilled their promises.
Consider the current circumstance. Whether the party and the candidate for whom you will cast your vote will be able to assist the state in terms of all-around development, the creation of employment for young people, and the improvement of the educational and medical sectors, among other things. When considering the State’s future, can the political party or government that takes office to uphold its work and fulfill the promises it made during the election?
(The writer is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at ICSSR, New Delhi. He can be reached at santynsong @gmail.com)