Undoubtedly, 2014 Lok Sabha elections are going to be the most attention-grabbing as well as significant event of the year or you may say years to come. Not only Indians, but many living in foreign countries, especially the one who are interested in politics are showing curiosity to know more about the election in which the number of new eligible voters is more than the whole voters in 2012 US presidential election. Sensing the nerve, the Election Commission of India (EC) has taken an initiative in the form of ‘the 2014 Election Visitors Programme’. The programme has been developed for those countries who are interested in viewing India’s 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The elections’ days will be observed very closely by the 80 delegates across the globe from about 39 different countries. Fifty delegates from the 20 countries will visit India under the 2014 Election Visitors Programme whereas 30 delegates will come from 19 countries under the Election Training Programme. Some of the delegates will also visit the polling station to observe the live event. Their visit has been scheduled from April 17-May 7 in four different states viz Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Among all, seven delegates are from Namibia, 14 from Nepal, and one each from Lesotho, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Uganda, Kenya and Bhutan.
Delegates coming to take part in the Election Training Programme will attend a two-week course on ‘emerging challenges’ at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management. Objective of the course is to pass on electoral practices of India to fulfill the domestic and international requirement of the same. The institute is run by the Election Commission of India.
Why do we need such programmes and training programmes?
2014 Lok Sabha elections in India are considered to be the most significant elections after 1977. This year near about 815 million people are eligible to vote. Political parties are taking number of issues to gain confidence of the voters. Instead of religion they are talking about development, stagnant economy of India, security, increasing population of youth, and so on. Apart from all these issues, the Aam Aadmi Party has influenced the voters in its first ever elections and directly challenging the biggest parties of the country that is the BJP and the Congress.
India is going to demonstrate intense competition among the political parties in almost every state. Public is taking immense interest and fed up with the present form of government and its governance. They are looking for a change, a change that can bring development and respect for the country. Social violence, corruption and economic variation are the major concerns of the general public.
Such programs are required to understand the transformation which the political parties and Indian electorate is going through. It is important to know how the different political parties are working and changing their agendas to win the confidence of the voters? What is the fate of dynastic politics in India? How the new entrant the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has changed the political scenario of India?
There are many more questions that need to be answered. This can be only be done by closely watching the whole game and then analyzing the results. This is what the purpose of the 2014 Election Visitors Programme is.