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‘Candidates Now From Academia’

The 1999 election was interesting in terms of setting the tone for a new brand of coalition politics which is here to stay.

Published: 03rd April 2014 04:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2014 08:53 AM   |  A+A-

Aditya Sondhi

Author and Supreme Court advocate

City Express shoots six election-related questions to distinguished Bangaloreans

Personally, which Lok Sabha election has been your most memorable so far? Why?

The 1999 election was interesting in terms of setting the tone for a new brand of coalition politics which is here to stay.

The alliance (National Democratic Alliance-NDA) also seemed to be positioned differently from the earlier governments in its approach to matters of national security and related issues.

The fact that this alliance could discard the Hindutva platform was refreshing, as was the leadership of Prime Minister Atal Behari                               Vajpayee.

Which election, in your view, has provided the biggest turning point in the history of India?

Clearly, the 1977 election which rejected a regime that imposed an extra-constitutional Emergency on its                      people.

It is one of the few elections that showed a united electoral expression based on ideology and a quest for democratic tradition.

It also helped the Congress party regroup itself and take the citizens more seriously when it returned to power in 1980.

What issues would you want the three MPs from Bangalore to address?

I believe MPs are ambassadors for their cities and states in the Parliament and equally ambassadors of the government (if they belong to the majority combine) when they return to their turf.

I’d be happy to see our MPs driving change in New Delhi on matters that would make India a more equitable society.

I expect them to communicate how national policy is impacting us down south and to pay special attention to Centre-state relations so that Karnataka maintains its political space in the federal set-up.

Do you think the Congress, BJP, JD(S) and Aam Aadmi Party have chosen their Bangalore candidates well?

By and large, there seems to be a shift from the status quo. Many parties are experimenting with a new breed of candidates - from academia, business etc.

In some ways, this makes the choice of candidates more representative, but only time will tell whether the voters approve.

Have you ever considered contesting elections? Which politicians do you know personally, and what do you think of their prospects?

Never. I am not aligned with any political party nor do I know politicians personally.

What do you foresee in Delhi after the vote count on May 16?

It seems fairly clear that there is an anti-incumbency atmosphere across the country. As to what combination forms the government, one really cannot predict.

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