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An open letter to candidates fighting LokSabha Elections 2019!

Loksabha-elections-opinion-pollBetween the Polling and Poll Results

Dear Candidate,

You really have worked very hard for the elections. My best wishes have always been with you. Well, there is some time left for the results to be declared. I know you are really going to be very busy after the results are out. So, I feel this is the right time to discuss an important issue now.

May I request you to please make some simple calculations. Please check the actual expenditure (well! you may like to call it as an investment), you made for the elections. Maybe the expenditure informed to Election Commission was different than the actual one. Don’t be afraid. I am not asking you to disclose the figures to me or to anyone else.

Please do find out the voter turnout in your area. That way, you know how much voters did actually cast their votes. Find the ratio of expenditure to the voters. Is that what you paid to get one vote? I think NO.

Let us make a few assumptions here for simplicity. Imagine you spent Rs.25 lakhs, and 50,000 voters cast their votes. If you get say 60% votes, that means you spent around Rs. 50 per vote, and the actual payment made by you was Rs. 80-82 per vote. Still, I think something is missing here. Had you made expenses of just Rs 20 Lakhs, maybe your votes could have decreased by say a1000 only? That means to get those 1000 votes, you had to spend nearly Rs.500 per additional vote. Don’t you think it is a costly bargain?

I can very well understand that each and every vote count for you and your victory. You may also argue that such calculations may be suitable for a small business or industry for their daily survival, but for politics such mathematics is useless. Still, I’d request you to please keep doing it for my happiness only, and evaluate if the same was justified.

Also explore the expenses made in various heads like fuel for cars, food expenses, cash distribution or liquor (if you have done that), posters printing and distribution, social media management, etc. Try to identify the ways which could have been more effective for future elections. Maybe you have spent more on food expenses, while by printing more publicity material, you could have reached more voters. Maybe the reverse of that could have done better. Here again, you may feel that I am behaving as a lower-middle-class person struggling to balance his monthly budget, but such calculations help you to find out what can be done to fetch more votes in forthcoming elections.

I understand you have a good following base or dedicated voters. This may be based upon your caste, religion, or on a particular set of equation. Those votes are always with you. Coming to the next, you are able to get some additional votes by proper campaigning, publicity, various expenses as indicated above, etc. Have you noticed that a particular set of voters judges you only on the basis of good work done by you during past few years? You arranged the marriage of poor girls and arranged for their basic needs to start a family; you gave fees of some poor students to help them continue their education etc.

Coming to the next point, there might have been 35-45% voters who did not use their voting rights. Maybe some of these (say 10%) had been out of station or busy with something really important. What can you do about the others? I think you may also look at these as a future vote bank, and motivate them to be present in the future elections.

May we expect you to be more efficient in marketing yourself in the next elections. Think and be sensible before acting!

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