I guess fate has a strange way of turning you away from something when it knows it’s going against your conscience. At least mine did. Election Day is the best day for this conscience thing to show its true colours. Do I vote for the candidate who I think is most eligible or the party which the rest of the country, my wife and son believe is going to sweep the polls? That is what went through my mind as I stepped into the polling booth.

When I left home my wife warned me to vote for the candidate who her entire family was supposedly voting for, in the Lok Sabha constituency. She couldn’t vote because despite all her efforts the EC refused to register her as a voter along with me – or so she thought!

I looked up the list of candidates on the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), when I was in the polling booth. Flustered, I looked down the list, then I looked up, and down again. I couldn’t find the bugger’s name anywhere. Then I looked for the party symbol and couldn’t find that either. By then I was grinning and the lady sitting across the booth was staring at me suspiciously. My eyes then went to the top of the EVM, read the name of the constituency and I almost burst out laughing. THIS WAS NOT THE CONSTITUENCY I HAD BEEN VOTING FROM FOR THE PAST SO MANY TERMS!!

The Election Commission had moved me and (I am sure) quite a few others to another constituency and I hadn’t a frigging idea who the contestants were initially. Then I read the names carefully, and decided I might as well follow my conscience. I pressed the button for the party instead of the candidate and walked away, satisfied that I had voted as per my conscience and not because people were hounding me to do so for someone!

I, then, tweeted my experience about the change in constituency and imagine my shock, when a former colleague from the newspaper I worked with until recently, called to say that he read my tweet and did some investigating, only to find that I was registered as a voter in my old constituency as well. I asked him to check if my wife was a voter there and he said she was. So she rushed off to vote for the candidate of her choice from a constituency where she longer resided! So we are happy that we both voted for a party of our choice!

What I noticed was the sparse number of voters at both places. That is surprising considering all the hoopla about the so called wave. Closing voting figures show a little above 54vper cent polling in the city, which is quite dismal. I guess, Punekars deserve the crap they get from the politicians. There’s no point moaning about the terrible infrastructure, crappy transport system haphazard constructions, water supply etc etc if we don’t tell politicians on the one day that we get, that non-performers won’t get a second chance.

All this also makes me think why the Election Commission can’t do efficiently, the one job they are supposed to do, every five years. As the screen shots will show, I seem to have two fathers!

vote

I don’t know what mother would have had to say to this, had she been alive today. I am sure it would have been something very sarcastic. And all I asked for was a change of address in my voter details!

voter icard details1

Someone informed me on twitter that a friend of his applied for Voter ID Card 6 times – he now has 12 cards that cannot be cancelled. And another student said she had been married off! Thank God we don’t have elections every four years. Otherwise the Election Commission might find me another family and a new identity!

The last time, I remember voting for Suresh Kalmadi because I thought he would do something for the city. He did in the initial years. Then he gave Pune something called the BRTS which made worse the already messed up transport system in the city and then gave the nation the Commonwealth Games that messed up his political career. So I’ve always felt that Kalmadi betrayed the trust we imposed in him. This time I guess if things end up in a mess, I won’t have a guilty conscience because I have nothing to do with the constituency I have been shoved into!

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