Mangalore: Congress internal election turns out to be 'undemocratic'
Deekshith D V
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Feb 28: The Congress 'internal election' to choose a Lok Sabha candidate from Mangalore seems to be running into rough weather, with many party workers expressing discontent over the process as it has kept sincere party workers and many office-bearers from having a say.
It may not be an exaggeration to say that the process which was supposed to be democratic in principal has instead turned out to be selective and even lopsided, with many genuine party loyalists at the grassroots level finding that they do not 'qualify' to be voters in the election process.
Speaking to daijiworld, former gram panchayt member from Sulliataluk complained, "The internal election in the Congress party has created confusion among the party workers who have served for several years. This has triggered groupism within the party. The 19-point selection criteria has deprived several party workers and block Congress members from taking part in internal election.
"Right to vote in the internal election should be given to everyone equally," he added.
Several taluk level and block level party leaders and workers have expressed their disappointment over the process of internal election which has failed to adhere to the principals of democracy, it is learnt.
According to the sources, so far 617 voters have been found eligible for voting. Voting rights of 447 Congress members have been withheld as they do not meet the prescribed norms of criteria. The scrutiny of voters ends on Friday February 28. Though earlier it was said that district level cooperative societies would be provided an opportunity to vote, they have been dropped from the voters' list.
Interestingly, the MLA candidates from Congress who were defeated in the past elections, Congress Kissan Cell, INTUC, and party workers at the Congress district, block, taluk, booth and ward levels and grassroots level have been deprived of voting rights.
Although, as per AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi's idea, the Congress high command attempted to reach the grassroots in selecting its candidate, the result has been quite the opposite. The common party worker has been completely kept out of the process, and only the so-called creamy layer is eligible to vote. There are several workers who have loyally served the party for many years, but they find no voice even in their party's own election process.