Dominance of money in Bihar elections

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By: Lalit Garg
Bihar assembly elections are important in many aspects, while there are discrepancies and inequalities in these elections, for some type of power. Increasing money power in politics, communalism, corruption, class struggle, caste-struggle and the politics of mixing of parties of different views and beliefs have disappointed the residents, yet elections are being fought on the same grounds and issues. The world’s largest democracy, after a long journey of 73 years, is still on the verge of dividing on the basis of regionalism, casteism, religion, wealth, muscle power and separatism. Leaders are speaking attractive bids through different flags and slogans.

Today, leaders are like magicians who are ready to discredit people at the stage of petty politics. The political parties are doing everything that hollows the foundations of democracy for their own comfort. Once again, there is a lack of visionary and transparent leaders who give the right direction. The biggest irony and anomaly of these elections is that these elections in Bihar are going to prove to be increasing rather than bridging the gap of economic inequality. Because most of the leaders of Bihar are millionaires, but are they forced to wander to other states to feed their voters? Once again, in these elections, the two major alliances have made a large number of candidates who are very rich and they have been mocked like an angel who calms down the severe wounds of poor people of Bihar. After all, how long will democracy continue to ride such anomalies?
The voting for the first phase of Bihar assembly elections is now just a few days away. All the candidates are engaged in their public relations campaign, but an ironic fact related to these fields is coming out that the candidates are using their money power. According to the affidavit submitted in the Election Commission by the candidates who are trying their luck from these 71 seats, 153 candidates are millionaires and they own from 1 crore to 53 crore. The two main alliances have reposed confidence in a large number of millionaires. While nearly 60 percent of the NDA candidates are millionaires, 58 percent of the grand alliance. These figures make us think of how many ‘rich’ people representing the millions of people who had come out of the streets of metropolis and other parts of the country on foot to their villages due to poverty, due to the crisis of corona epidemic a few months ago. Will be how is it possible to understand the pain of poverty with these rich politicians? The consequence of this is that criminals become leaders by the use of money power and honest people are left behind. As a result of this, honest people have started cutting their way in politics.

Despite all efforts, the election process in the country is inconsistent. In the current election process and political system, the dominance of money power and muscle power is increasing day by day. Without the use of money, elections are starting to seem like impossible. There was a period when politics was considered as a means of service and the election was attended by the same people who had a social and service life. But today it is not so, today honest and serving people do not contest elections, they do not want to get caught in the morass of politics or the journey of politics is not easy for them. Today, tainted and criminals are ahead in politics. The result is that criminals come to power and misuse the power by using money power and muscle power. The sad thing is that now the government belongs to any party, money is used vigorously in it and with the use of money, one becomes the victorious leader of some rich or criminal tendency, who is not capable to serving our society and nation and proves fatal to country, because he spends more money than he spends in elections.
The increasing use of money power in elections in poor and backward provinces like Bihar should be a cause for concern. Where have politicians or political parties been able to present any ideals in the economic plight and coronation of the state due to economic problems and life crisis? This can be gauged from this, people who can spend so much to win elections, what they will do after winning, will fill their pockets first. And the main thing is, where does all this money come from? Who gives so many rupees? The wealthy are opening their chests; there are many companies that give money to all these electoral parties and candidates, in the form of donations.

If a big company has given money in the name of‘donation’, then it takes several times the money it has invested by manipulating the policies of the government. That is why the use of money power in current politics is a big challenge in elections. All parties want to win elections on the basis of money, not in the name of resolving issues and problems related to public. Nobody wants to contest elections with honesty and service. Political players are so busy in the race for power that it has become futile for them to talk about development, public service and nation building. All parties seem to be misleading the public. All parties want votes in exchange for notes. Politics has now become a business. All life values have been shattered, the acquisition of power has become the highest goal for wealth and personal selfishness.
These legitimate concerns and growing restlessness among the general public have been understood by the present government and legal methods have been devised to control the situation. When Parliament or legislative assemblies have started becoming an arena for strongman and tainted people, many tainted people have been deprived of contesting elections, many have had their membership cancelled, but a large number of tainted-criminals are still there due to judicial process laxity and political inconsistencies.  They are active in electoral politics. The new challenge before Indian democracy is now standing in the form of money power. Undoubtedly, the rich also have every right to enter politics and serve the people.

There are instances that after independence many people had chosen the path of public service by plundering their wealth. But that round has been left behind. Today, politics is being made a means of earning money, instead of removing the imbalance of rich-poverty, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The proportion now visible is more reflective of a variety of social imbalances. Take the same vision of Bihar. If the state, whose annual per capita income is less than one-third of the national average, dominates the economically rich section in politics, then this situation reflects the strength of democracy more than democracy. This is also the major reason behind lack of public sensitivity in our government policies.
When they see the expenses incurred in the election of a candidate, then they are the big checkers. The parties spend crores of rupees in elections, but it is not accounted for. It is obvious that who will spend crores of rupees, after winning the election, he will compensate for it only with the money of the government. Now the question is that the problem is serious, so why is not trying to find a solution to it. Because political parties see their own loss in this. The use of increasing money power in politics is leaving opportunities for the poor to participate in the election process. The use of increasing money in elections is having a profound impact on public representativeness. To tackle this, improvement in the electoral system has become extremely necessary. A significant aspect of the Dhanbali check data from Bihar is that the areas in the state where these 71 seats have been in the ranks of feudal oppression, Naxalite violence, and political crimes for a long time and the RJD-led the left parties involved in the grand alliance are also fighting more strongly in these areas.
In politics, the value of service should be a guide at all levels, standards should be established, only then the situation of the country will be calm and balanced, only then will the policy of ideal and equitable society structure be effective and then India’s democracy will become the guide for the world. For this, every party in Bihar elections should have effectively tried to coordinate between the honour and dignity of the country with its working style, so that the country would live with democratic identity, it is the biggest misfortune and irony of these elections. (The writer is a journalist, columnist and can be contacted at Email: [email protected])

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