By Manoj Rai, Director-Action Learning Initiatives of PRIA
The trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) goes to polls on April 15. Political parties are using all tricks to win the election, which is supposed to be a warm up for next year’s Delhi assembly elections. Unlike urban elections in other states, national media is quite sensitive to the elections processes in Delhi. Bye the way, Bihar municipal elections were postponed yesterday on flimsy reason. Don’t know if it got any coverage in national media or not?
National media’s interests in local elections are good for democracy to further deepen. But interests of husbands and in-laws in highlighting themselves while canvassing for women candidates is not only an attempt to demean women but also an assault on constitution and its mandate regarding reservation of seats.
Here is an example from Sarita Vihar, one of the most educated and progressive ward in south Delhi. All national political parties have their woman candidates. It is their compulsion as seats are reserved for women. Every candidate has got pamphlets and posters printed and disseminated. Idea is that a voter would decide about whom to vote after reading these pamphlets. But most of the pamphlets talk more about husband or male relatives.
As one voter commented, ‘Whom I am supposed to vote? To women candidate or their husbands? Have a look on pamphlets above. What is you think? This is happening in Delhi , the hub of democratic processes in India. Political parties who swear in the name of democracy and equality are blatantly making mockery of constitutional mandate or they are ignorant about it? Poor politics..