Dr. K. R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, organized a lecture, as a part of its’ B. R. Ambedkar Memorial Lecture Series, by Professor Adnan Farooqui on the topic “Candidate Nomination Processes in Indian Parties” on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. [Link to Audio]
Mr. Farooqui, who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia, spoke at length about the internal dynamics of political parties in India and related them to the process of nomination and outcomes. His lecture took into account the different rationale followed by national parties like Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Bahujan Samaj Party, in choosing their candidates for elections. “The national party organs completely control the selection of candidates for the national elections while the subnational party organs send their proposed names to the former which ultimately decides who would get the ticket,” said Farooqui.
He also focussed on the way caste and religious considerations make their way into nomination of candidates, stressing the manner in which Samajwadi Party has performed caste balancing and how, for a party like BSP, money is central to the nomination process.
Highlighting the logic behind parties generally declaring the candidates’ names at the last minute, Farooqui said, “If you have an early nomination and some prospective candidate doesn’t get a nomination, then it is likely that he might leave the party.” The general rule of thumb for nomination, he said, was “sitting-getting,” wherein the incumbent gets nominated, unless there’s a criminal charge against him or the party doesn’t see him winnable, among other reasons. Focussing on Lok Sabha elections of 2004 and 2009, he went on to show, through tabulated data, how the percentage of re-nomination of members differs from one party to another.
Speaking about the impact of the fragmentation of party system, he said “While it made Indian politics more representative, it has also made parties formulate policies keeping mainly short term gains in mind. They focus on areas where returns would be instant.” He also termed the comparison of the Indian process with the European experience as uncalled for, in so far as the realities of the two were different, and hence the comparison couldn’t be a fair thing to do.
His address was followed by a healthy question answer session with students, in which he clarified about the whole process from nominations to elections across various states and at the national level, but also sharing their concerns with regard to the pitfalls of the same, including criminalization of politics, corruption etc.
Download and listen to the complete lecture by clicking here: Adnan Farooqui – Candidate Nomination Processes in Indian Parties – Nov 8, 2012 [Format: MP3; Duration: 39 minutes; Size: 27 MB]