Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): “Citizens’ perception of governance does matter in elections. Party and leadership are key drivers in elections and are becoming increasingly important,” Prof Sandeep Shastri, vice-chancellor, Jagaran Lakecity University, Bhopal and eminent political analyst said here on Thursday.
He was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of the two-day national seminar on “Issues of Democracy and Governance in Elections at the State and National level in India”. The seminar is being organised by the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research (MPISSR) and is sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi. Shastri also said that states are the centres of politics in India. There is an emergence of bipolarity in contestation in elections. He emphasised that promise overload and performance barometers are also part of the discourse in elections.
Prof Ashutosh Kumar, department of political science, Punjab University, Chandigarh delivered the keynote address. He focused on electoral finance and highlighted the need for electoral reforms. He said that the analysis of an institutional, constitutional and legal aspect of the Election Commission needs to be done in a proper manner. The election is the central instrument of democracy. Campaign finance is a crucial issue in the election. Electoral bond has streamlined institutional funding but it has marginalised the scope of funding for the smaller parties.
Dr Gopal Krishna Sharma, president, MPISSR, chaired the programme. Prof Yatindra Singh Sisodia, director, MPISSR and convenor of the seminar gave a welcome address and a brief introduction on the theme of the seminar. Dr Pratip Chattopadhyay, co-convener, University of Kalyani, Nadia compeered the session and also spoke about the seminar. Dr Manu Gautam proposed a vote of thanks. The programme was attended by the academic fraternity of Ujjain.
Later in the day, three plenary sessions took place wherein nine research papers were presented. Addresses of key speakers Prof Sanjay Kumar, CSDS, New Delhi on Does Development Matter for Indian Voters, Dr Rahul Verma, CPR, New Delhi on Political Families and Democracy in Modern India, Prof E Venkatasu, department of political science, the Central University of Hyderabad on Dynastic Regional Parties: Uncertain State Capital and Parallel Institutions and Governance in Andhra Pradesh were also held. Three more plenary sessions are scheduled for the second day of the seminar.