PRIME MINISTER'S SURGICAL STRIKE ON BLACK MONEY AND ITS LIKELY EFFECT ON PUNJAB ELECTIONS
…Hope and wish that the government of India does not succumb to the pressure of certain political parties and extends the dead line of using present currency notes up till the elections. It will be a very mischievous move and will expose the government but knowing the ways of the government, anything is possible…
My afternoon of November 9, 2016, started with my friend Gurav of India TV dropping in. He asked me about the possible fall out of the successful Prime Ministerial surgical strike on black money, on the forthcoming Punjab elections. Man what an original question had struck him. I had not thought of this. I started scratching and raking up my hairless head when he asked this question, adding that another of our friends Anand Patel of NDTV was also on his way to ask me the same question.
When we started discussing and dissecting it then it turned out that it was the timeliest and a billion dollar question. Assembly Elections in Punjab are due in February 2017. It is a well known fact that often Punjab elections are nothing but a mockery of Indian democracy and a tight slap on the face of an election commission which mostly remains a worth less spectator. I wish and hope that the current Chief Election Commissioner, Naseem Zaidi, who has been a fine officer, remains alert and pro active.
Elections in Punjab are often managed with money, drugs, liquor, gifts of electrical and electronic items including motorised two wheelers besides blackmail and intimidation. Now that the Prime Minister has delivered surgical blow on black money, on account of the reasons best known to him, some of political parties may be in for a doom. Normally all these goodies are distributed and disbursed around elections but in a scenario where the current currency is sucked up by the end of December and new currency may not be all that freely available, the political scenario in Punjab may be with a difference.
We should thank god it.
Political parties will now have to start distributing and disbursing money, goodies and gifts in kind from right now till the end of December to purchase votes but people do change later on. They will also have to spend money for bookings and purchase of election related material, book tents, pay to labour contractors who will be arranging the crowds for them at appropriate time besides managing all other sundry poll related material. Some of the political parties are likely to raise hue and cry urging Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to extend the dead line fixed to suck up the current high denomination currency notes. Though it may be a wishful thinking but let’s hope and wish that the Government of India does not succumb to the pressure of some of such political parties and does not extend the dead line for the use of current high denomination currency notes up till the elections. It will be a very mischievous, calculated and motivated move and will expose the top echelons of the Central Government but knowing the ways of the Government, anything is impossible.
And if they do not succumb to this likely pressure to extend the dead line till or beyond the forthcoming elections (to be fool gullible masses like us) then drugs, liquor and the infamous gangsters of Punjab, who are aligned with one of the other party, will play havoc. The use of muscle men and gangsters’ during elections is a black spot on Indian Democracy but the Punjabi gangsters, who are now mixed up with their brethren from other states as well, are particularly mean, malicious, ruthless and now trigger happy as well.
The forthcoming elections may, in all likelihood and unfortunately may witness unprecedented violence and use of drugs. Lets us see how well the Election Commission of India rises up to the occasion and controls some of the political goons who have devastated the state of Punjab.