The Telegraph
Thursday , April 17 , 2014
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Electoral pride against political prejudice
- Economically weaker people determined to cast vote, several others withdraw themselves

Even Ratan Rajput may not be able to move advocate Chandrashekhar Prasad to vote.

Maybe Prasad, who practises in Patna civil court, does not know Ratan, the brand ambassador for the Election Commission in the state to urge people to vote this poll season. But Prasad knows the candidates yet he would not go the booth on Thursday.

“None of the candidates interests me this time. If you talk about the sitting MP, he showed his face very few times in the last five years while the Congress candidate, Kunal Singh, would hardly be able to live up to the people’s expectation. Filmistan ke log jyada nahi karenge hamare liye (People from the cine world would not do much for us). We already have experience of one film star (hinting to BJP sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha). While Parveen Amanullah, the AAP candidate, seems to me a bhagaura (absconder). The JD(U) candidate, Dr Gopal Prasad Sinha, is a good person but he has chosen the wrong party. The JD(U) won’t be able to garner much vote. So, I have decided not to vote this election,” the advocate reasoned.

However, rickshaw-puller Kishore Mahto (50) takes pride in exercising his democratic right.

“Vote deveke to jawe pari babua, na jayem to gaonwala sab ijjat thore devi hamra (I will have to go for casting my vote. If I don’t cast my vote, villagers won’t give me respect),” said Kishore, a resident of Sitamarhi where election will held on May 7.

Kishore said going to the village for casting his vote means a day’s loss of his business but he is determined to go. “Hamrake dekhe ke pari lahar ke taraf ba, oi ke anusar ham vot dem (I would have to see the direction of wave, my vote would be depending on that,” he added.

Like Kishore, Virendra Rai (40), his friend and another daily wage earner, is also all planning to visit Motihari in East Champaran to cast his vote. Election is scheduled in East Champaran on May 12. “People take a collective decision who to vote in my village. So I will go and check with my friends and family and only then I will make up my mind,” Virendra said.

Shiv Kumari (65), who runs a roadside eatery at Mandiri, also said she was planning to visit her village in Araria for casting her vote. “How can I decide who to vote for? I will decide this at the polling booth itself. There I would meet at least 10 people and would have interaction on the various issues and then I will decide who to vote,” said Shiv, who claimed that she was voting since last 30 years.

While advocate Prasad has decided to give the election a miss, there are people who have never cast vote although their names are on the voter list. “Sab **** chor hai kisko de vote (Everybody is thief, whom to vote)?” said Ravi Shankar (35), a businessman. Asked why he was not thinking about trying the Nota option, Ravi, a graduate in physics from AN College, said: “It would make no difference.”

Ravi’s wife, Anita, has also not exercised her franchise even once. “I won’t go to cast my vote because I don’t think it will bring any change in my life,” said Anita.

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