Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 29 January 2023 5.57 PM IST

For whom are the by-polls held?


(Editorial published on September 6, 2020)
The decision of the Election Commission to hold by-elections in Chavara and Kuttanad constituencies in November this year, when the state assembly elections are to be held next April or May, is completely unnecessary. The term of those who reach the Assembly through by-elections will be barely four months.

As the term of this house expires, they too will have to step down to prepare the ground for new elections. Prior to that the assembly would have the opportunity to convene only once or twice. Most budget meetings are likely to be limited. The whole budget is irrelevant as elections are about to take place. All of these are political realities that need to be considered.

In that sense, is it possible for the representatives which will be in power for four months do any good to those who elected them.Let the story of the development achievements of the constituencies and so on stand there. How can we ignore the crore flowing out of the public exchequer for these two by-elections?

The Election Commission had to contain the impropriety and irrationality of holding such by-elections on this occasion only to get two members in the Assembly for a few days only. Elections to the Bihar Assembly must be completed before November 29. In addition, the Election Commission has decided to hold 64 Assembly by-elections and one Lok Sabha by-election in different states.

It is not clear why the states where the assembly term ends are also included in the by-elections.

It is not uncommon for political parties in the state to jump for joy as soon as they hear of an election. This is a great opportunity to prepare the ranks and warm up the scene ahead of the big election. As such, they are eager to make the most of the opportunity.

But it is also good to think about the immense amount of money and labour that has to flow for the competition and nothing else. The immature decision of the Election Commission is evident from the fact that a person who wins an election and is sent to the Assembly through hard work will not even get a chance to stand firm there.

The issue is not just the high cost of by-elections. Shouldn't the most dangerous situation in which COVID spread worsened be considered? Although they say that all phases will be completed by following COVID protocol, one does not know that as the campaign heats up, the restrictions will be seen on paper.

In fact, the government and the political parties are trying to convince the Election Commission the fact that it is better to abandon these two by- elections, which have become irrelevant.

The Kuttanad constituency has been vacant since December 20 following the untimely demise of Thomas Chandy. Vijayan Pillai, who represented Chavara constituency, passed away on March 8. The Election Commission's justification was that the by-election was not held on time due to COVID.

In the case of Chavara it is true but not in the case of Kuttanad. The by-elections in Kuttanad were delayed for no apparent reason. Now, the transmission of COVID is at its peak. The government have mentioned that it is likely to reach its peak by October. At such a juncture, everyone should think slowly about how desirable the election will be. With these two seats vacant until the next election, nothing particularly bad is going to happen. Political parties must be patient to wait until the assembly elections.

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