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- Napoleon Bonaparte

Our democracy should be more transparent: Misra

For the first time in history, the Legislative Council elections have kicked up a debate among the educated class. Thanks to Indian Institute of Management adjunct professor Ashwin Mahesh, many graduates enrolled themselves to electoral college of the Graduates’ constituency. On Sunday, polling will take place in many places including the city. Mr R.K. Misra, a technocrat-turned-public policy expert, speaks on why candidates like Mr Mahesh should be backed in these polls.

Many people questioned about the poll campaign on social networking sites and asked if it will change things on the ground. Social networking sites are no substitute for ground campaign with one-on-one connect and we have an intensive voter-connect programme. However, we must realize that voter profile in India has changed dramatically. Young adults in the age group of 18-30 constitute almost 50 per cent of voters who are tech-savvy and connected.

We will employ technology as well as ground campaign to reach out to the youth, educated professionals and middle class voters who have been neglected by mainstream political parties as they can not relate to these voters. In the last two or three weeks, many asked, “How would you, being a BJP member, support the candidature of Mr Ashwin Mahesh?” I believe that good candidates are needed for building a transparent and mature democracy.

Unfortunately, our democracy is not transparent. Unlike many other democracies, we do not have a ‘primary system’ which allows party cadre to choose the most suitable candidate to fight the elections.

In our case, a few people decide on the candidates in a non-transparent manner. Of late, money and favouritism play crucial roles in choosing candidates. My loyalty is to my conscience and to my nation. I find Ashwin Mahesh a better candidate and that is what matters to me. I do not care for the consequences as I have moral conviction to stand by my decision.

Many have wondered about our campaign, Bangalore28. They said assembly elections are fought with so much money and asked how the Bangalore28 campaign will help good people become credible candidates and how they will find money to promote themselves.

I personally feel that we will reach out to the independent and socially conscious voters who cannot be influenced by caste, religion and money. We will focus on transparent campaign finance, issue-based politics and credible candidates. We will field candidates whom people can believe in. This will be an antidote to money and muscle power politics.

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