Herald Goa

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) Goa State Coordinator Bhasker Assoldekar has appealed to all eligible voters to exercise their voting rights for the Goa Assembly Elections 2022 on February 14.

In its press note ADR stated that many Goans believe that voting is an exercise in futility. 

“During the last one month, I have heard from many Goans that what is the value of my one vote amongst one million?” Bhasker Assoldekar was quoted as saying in the press release. 

He further added, “The common people said ‘who should we vote when it appears that all politicians are at best corrupt and completely out of touch with the concerns of we Goans, if not out-and-out liars’. Is it this indifference that allows a small percentage of its population to control the future of all others?” 

The ADR release added that “then it is time for you to change and become involved in the process that will affect your life, for better or for worse, in the future.”

“Only by changing this apathy and indifference to concern and interest can shape your own future. Only you can vote for the candidate who will best reflect that future in the laws and policies they enact in your name. Our vote and other forms of political activism can make a difference,” Assoldekar stated in the press release.

ADR in its report which was released on February 8 had also recommended several steps on how to clean the system. 

“The remedy for the existing problem of criminalisation is to immediately act upon the plausible solutions offered by various committees, civil society and citizens,” the ADR suggested. 

It also recommended that Supreme Court of India being the ultimate custodian of “Justice and Rule of Law” should reprimand political parties and politicians for their complete lack of will, reprehensible predilection and absence of required laws. 

It suggested permanent disqualification of candidates convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, dacoity, kidnapping etc.

The report added that disqualification of persons from contesting elections to the public offices against whom charges have been framed for having committed

serious criminal offences punishable by imprisonment of at least five years, and

the case is filed at least six months prior to the election in question.

Also, cancellation of tax exemptions given to the political parties who field such tainted candidates must be done. The report also said that the political parties must be brought under the Right to Information Act. 

Also, political parties in India should be required to announce and publish the list of candidates contesting elections at least three months prior to elections, ADR suggested.

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