National

Rights groups launch drive for transparency in elections

Civil rights groups here on Saturday launched a drive for bringing transparency in the Lok Sabha election by highlighting people’s “real issues” during the poll campaign, and gave a call for rigorous scrutiny of competing claims by different political parties.

A yatra will also be taken out through various districts in Rajasthan next month to generate awareness among voters. The yatra has been planned in two phases, coinciding with the April 29 and May 6 polling dates in the State.

The civil society’s intervention has been named “Desh Hamara, Vote Hamara, Mudda Hamara” (our country, our vote, our issues)”. The campaign is aimed at increasing awareness about issues such as unemployment, agrarian distress, hate crimes, atrocities against Dalits and attacks on human rights activists.

‘War rhetoric’

Mukesh Nirvasit of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan said a “war rhetoric” was being spread in society ahead of the elections to divert people’s attention from the issues affecting them. “Raising national security issue during the polls is unwarranted. It amounts to exploitation of the armed forces for political benefit,” he said.

Activists said the upcoming elections should be treated as the last opportunity to save democracy and the Constitution, as the ruling dispensation had created an atmosphere of “fear and intimidation” for those working for people’s welfare. They alleged that the entire narrative of elections had been changed under the garb of “nationalism”.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties Rajasthan chapter president Kavita Srivastava said the people themselves should identify the issues on which they are going to exercise their franchise. She said the budgetary allocation for social security schemes was constantly being reduced and labourers were being deprived of minimum wages.

Source: thehindu.com

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