Why Contest from Multiple Seats: Safe Seat or Show of Strength???

Why Contest from Multiple Seats: Safe Seat or Show of Strength???

Mr. Narendra Modi is contesting loksabhaelections from two constituencies: Varanasi and Vadodara. Political opponents are terming Vadodara as safe seat for Modi. They say Modi is not very confident of winning outside his home turf. So, he has made sure that he contests from Gujrat as well. So even if he loses from Varanasi, he still has a ticket to loksabha.

This cult of contesting from multiple seats is not new in the political arena. While Congress is crying foul, it should turn to history books. Sonia Gandhi contested from two seats: Rae Bareli and Bellary. Even her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, contested from Medak and Rae Bareli. Even in present loksabha elections, Mulayam Singh of Samajwadi Party is said to be contesting from two constituencies. Hence political parties need to introspect and retrospect before accusing their counterparts. 

I am not here to defend Narendra Modi’s decision to contest from two seats. The point that I want to drive home is that every party does it. But just because everybody does it, doesn’t make it right. Infact there is a fundamental flaw in this. Let’s take up the present case. Why is Modi contesting from two seats? Is it true that he is looking for a safe seat or is it just a show of strength?? ‘Safe Seat’ theory can’t cut much ice. Modi’s followers advocate that every seat is safe seat for NaMo, given the current political equation poised in favor of BJP. Hence only plausible explanation is that Modi wants to establish his credentials outside his home turf and at the same time he can’t risk alienating the people of Gujrat. And Uttar Pradesh with maximum number of loksabha seats is the best state to go to.

What if Modi wins both the seats? What next?? Ofcourse, he will have to relinquish one of the seats. Wouldn’t it be a betrayal for the people of the constituency he chooses to disown? He will have two choices. Either he will bid adieu to the people of Varanasi and tell them “I used you to show my strength and its time to go back home” or else he will desert the people of Gujrat. In either case, he will push one of the constituency to by-elections. This would not only mean wastage of tax-payers money but would also mock the electoral rights of people. They would be reluctant to vote for the second time.
Whether it be BJP or Congress, whether it be Narendra Modi or Sonia Gandhi, whether it be for show of strength or safe seat, this practice of contesting from multiple seats should be scrapped with immediate effect. Election Commission should also understand the extravagance due to this electoral leniency. If at all candidates are allowed to contest from two seats, they should bear the cost over-run due to by-elections. In no case should we be paying for the insecurity or prodigality of our candidates.   
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Amit

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