GUWAHATI, March 19 - A cross-section of first-time voters of the city, who will be able to exercise their voting right in the upcoming general elections, said they would size up the candidates first before casting their votes, as they particularly singled out management skills of a candidate as a prime qualification for election to the august Upper House of Parliament � the Lok Sabha.
�Indeed, to be a good Member of Parliament, a person should have good education qualifications because he or she would have to raise issues in a proper way at the highest level. However, to foster all-round development in the country, we need good managers rather than people with excellent educational backgrounds. If an MP goes on to become a minister in the Central government, he or she should be able to lead the bureaucracy. Only then shall our country move forward on the path of development,� said Nitu Das, a student of Cotton University and a first-time voter, while talking to The Assam Tribune.
According to Nitu, every MP should be concerned about proper utilisation of the money allotted to him under the MP�s local area development fund and should also be vocal in Parliament over local issues.
�First of all, corruption at all levels should stop at any cost. Only then can we imagine a developed India in the true sense. The present government at the Centre, during the last election, had assured us to bring back black money; but we are yet to see real fruits in this direction. I want the next government to be strict on the black money issue and on misuse and misutilisation of public money,� he added.
Rahul Gupta, another new voter, feels that development should be the sole priority for every public representative �as Assam is lagging behind in many aspects.� According to him, the general public should consider the educational qualification of a candidate before going to cast their votes. �Now we have seen financial crisis in the education system, due to which the new generation is not getting quality education. At the time of casting my vote for a candidate, I will keep this issue in mind,�
�Moreover, MPs from Assam need to be vocal in Parliament,� he added.
Mousumi Barua, a college student, said, �Schemes aimed at women�s empowerment remain only on paper, especially in our State. Our representatives should be concerned about this issue. Moreover, we still lack a secure environment as far as women are concerned.�
People should elect good leaders in the interest of proper development. And the elected representatives must address the issue of unemployment, she said.
Manash Kamal Das, another fresh voter, said, �We are yet to see proper implementation of many schemes and corruption still reigns supreme at many levels. Public representatives tend to betray us repeatedly. I will keep all these aspects in mind while casting my vote.�
He also expressed his anguish over the attempt of the government machinery to curb the right to speech and expression.
�A public representative should also be careful about maintaining communal harmony,� he added.
Another college student, Sasanka Sekhar Medhi, stated that the development process needs to be accelerated in India. �The representatives we select may or may not be highly qualified, but he or she must have the ability to understand the value of education. MPs of Assam should learn some lessons from their counterparts from South India. A public representative should have the goodwill to do something for the people rather than prioritising his or her self-interest,� he said.
While Billal Hussain urged all political parties not to polarise the common people with an eye on the vote bank, another new voter, Dipak Dey, called for bringing all parties under the RTI Act, through which misuse of public money can be controlled to a great extent. He also appealed to the parties to prioritise women�s participation in the electoral process.
�I want an MP who can maintain good communication with the common people, because in order to build a developed nation, our public representatives should have to feel the pulse of people�s emotions,� he added.