Focus Lok Issues

#MyVote2019 – ‘Hope Quota For Poor Works’

Banani Mukherjee Das, 31, Public Relations Manager in Kolkata

Though I don’t have a keen interest in politics, yet I keep myself updated with current affairs, both nationally and internationally. The last five years have been so eventful that even a person completely uninterested in politics would have to take sides. One can’t remain neutral anymore. I must clarify here that I am neither a fan of Modi nor of Rahul. In fact, I feel a candidate other than these two, one who is more balanced, would be better suited as our next Prime Minister. I hope 2019 gives us just the right kind of leader.

In 2019, I am looking for a well-informed government that has an understanding of the needs of the both the masses and the classes. Because both the segments of society are important for its proper and smooth functioning.

I am deeply disappointed at the way religion is being brought into the mainstream discourse by almost every party worth its weight. Also, even though Kolkata is safe for women, the goings on in the rest of the country when it comes to women’s safety, especially that of young girls, do sadden me. It’s time the government also gave a thought to mass sensitisation, apart from just strengthening the anti-rape law.

To Modiji’s credit, many government offices have pulled up their socks when it comes to punctuality, sensitivity and getting the work done on time. However, his silence on many major issues do rankle. Of course, there is this decision to allocate 10 per cent reservation for economically poor just before the Lok Sabha elections. I believe it is a good idea but the timing is suspect. Even when the idea of reservation was implemented in the beginning, the motive was to help the economically weaker sections of society.

I hope the reservation for the poor works out well. But the Prime Minster should seriously consider the rise in the prices of LPG as well as petrol which have almost doubled. This is what is pinching poor and middle-class households a lot.

My own finances are stretched. Even in a relatively cheaper city like Kolkata, I am spending more than Rs 3,000 per month for my daily commute to office. Aur LPG ke dam ka to kehna hi kya? (the less said about LPG prices, the better). The government should think about the common man.

Narendra Modi didn’t think about the common man before taking a huge step like demonetisation. The worst affected were the daily wage labourers whose many a working day were lost because they were required to stand in line to exchange notes. And even if they did find work, they couldn’t be paid easily because either their pay masters didn’t have cash in right denomination or they preferred to use it as a ploy to delay payments. The poor knows little when it comes to online modes of payment. At a personal level, my banker husband was really overworked for several months in the period, until things settled down. I hope we don’t have to go through this ever again.

As an individual voter, I would like to see better public transport facilities in Kolkata. I have to change as many as four autos to be able to reach work on time because the buses are so packed during morning rush hours that it is almost impossible to board them. Hope the political parties are listening. But as an educated, informed and compassionate voter that is not where my concerns end. I would like to vote for someone who cares as much for my neighbour as much he/she cares for me, somebody who promotes the politics of love.

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