“One Family, One Ticket Rule” for Election Ticket Distribution Undemocratic!

Uttarakhand is one of the states going for Assembly election early next year (may be February 2017). Right now, there’s much tussle between Assembly election ticket enthusiasts inside every political party. In such stressful times, it’s not uncommon for some senior committed party worker, anticipating being overlooked for ticket, float the idea of “One Family, One Ticket Rule”.

This is exactly done by Uttarakhand Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay. Yesterday in Dehradun, Mr. Upadhyay said, and we quote:

“There are too many contenders for party tickets. We want that only person in a family should get ticket otherwise it will be an injustice to other Congressmen,”

Notably, the second generation of many top leaders in State is vying for tickets for upcoming Uttarakhand Assembly Elections. This is not limited to INC alone. This handing over of political legacy or an act of mentoring is seen in most parties (Those who’re and who’ve come to power in the past). Hence although the idea looks quite appealing and logical, it’s not.

“One Family, One Ticket Rule” for Election Ticket is simply undemocratic.

The idea is undemocratic as it aims at penalizing someone, simply because he comes from a particular family or is “Born with a silver spoon”.

To contest an election in India you need to fulfill a certain requirements. But if you fulfill those requirements then belonging to a particular family doesn’t stop you from contesting an election. Thus floating the idea of “One Family, One Ticket Rule” is undemocratic. Yes it’s undemocratic, even when there’s no democracy inside a political party.

It’s important here to understand the concept of democracy inside a political party or internal party democracy. When it’s said there must be democracy inside political parties, it simply means: Every decision must be taken with majority vote or consensus. This applies to holding democratic elections to elect key functionaries of the party, holding regular meeting to arrive at consensus etc. It doesn’t mean barring someone on some flimsy ground, such as “One Family, One Ticket Rule”.

Arvind Kejriwal has applied this “One Family, One Ticket Rule” in AAP as well. Right now the party is new, and is in talent gathering phase. But over the years the rule will become visibly undemocratic, when political talent and ideology will percolate to the person’s family. The rule will become visibly democratic when the party will start barring a worthy candidate because he/she is also contesting election on the same party symbol. Overall, this will be in contradiction to party democracy, which begins with getting adequate support inside the party and ends with a fight to get mandate from the people.

I always find the concepts such as “One Family, One Ticket Rule” whimsical, as they can’t be justified even on the grounds of “Injustice to fellow party men” or “Intra-party democracy”. What is the solution then? …Simple, if you’re overlooked for a ticket, either stay in the party and stay there for the love of its basic ideology. If you’re offended, then stay in the party and show your popularity muscles. Or if that is not possible, join another party or start your own party or contest as an independent. Remember, if a party chooses undeserving candidates, then people will do the justice.Sometimes, even un-deserving candidates win an election because of party symbol. Remember most of the times people vote for that political party which’s closest to their basic values.