Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The lull......finally.

Today was the last day of the campaigning for the panchayat/municipality/corporation polls for the remaining seven districts of the state. The last month had seen hectic activity from dawn to dusk with political parties outdoing each other in the manner of campaigning from around 8 AM to dusk. Numerous party temporary stop over offices, while campaigning, had mushroomed within a few hundred meters of each other with party men, along with their candidates, making fervent appeals for votes personally.

The usually silent streets and feeder roads were active till about 2100h almost everyday. The lyrical and colourful parodies gave the people the gist of the parties' manifestos without ambiguity - though I must hasten to add - that almost every party had similar targets, their order of priority being different. I shall miss the light, sound nay, the din of the campaigning but console myself to say that the lull is gonna be short lived because the elections for the state's Assembly is gonna take place, six months from now!

I was elevated to the ranks of a patriarch as the candidates came and touched my feet, seeking blessings. May the best man win, I muttered, while I wished each one of them success - a paradox, if you're to ask me but, then, life is full of paradoxes, huh!? ..........And do I look that old and wise, I wondered, prompting me to have a thorough look at myself on the mirror!

Tomorrow, the following seven districts are going to polls viz:-
Note. South to north, these are,

          * Pathanamthitta.
          * Alappuzha
          * Kottayam
          * Ernakulam
          * Thrissur
          * Palakkad and
          * Malappuram.

Kerala is gonna be the first state in the country to use the EVMs - electronic voting machines - for panchayat elections. The type of polling will differ from that of the municipality/corporation and the panchayat, the notable aspects being:-

           - While it will be a single vote/voter for the former, the latter will have three votes/voter viz.                   panchayat, block panchayat and district panchayat. The three votes will be registered on
              three separate voting machines kept for the purpose and if, for example, the voter doesn't
              subscribe to a particular candidate out of the three, he/she has the option to terminate the
              exercise of franchise by pressing the 'end' button!

           - There's no NOTA - none of the above - on the ballot.

           - There will be no photos of the candidates on the ballot.


My mom, Lekha and I are excited as we're gonna exercise our franchise, for the first time, after receiving our colour voter identity cards. We plan to go to the polling booth - at the Little Flower College, opposite 'The Quarterdeck' - at 7 itself. Our candidate?.....Ah, that's our secret!!

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