With the failure of the administration and politics becoming a cesspool, a group of working professionals in Pune have decided to take the plunge instead of being mere spectators. The group comprises engineers, directors of educational institutions, PhDs, entrepreneurs and IT professionals who have come together to do some real work.
The group will be submitting an application to the Election Commissioner in January 2008 to register themselves under the name “Professionals Party Of India” with an intention of contesting the 2009 general elections with the objective of bringing dignity to politics and governance. “Although India has come a long way after 60 years of Independence, the middle-class had little to do with the governance process. They think politics is dirty and stay away even from the voting process because they believe the candidates are not up to the mark. It is high time they stop complaining and begin to essay their roles in Indian politics”, RV Krishnan, a founder member of the party and MD, Business Development Bureau (India) Pvt. Ltd., said.
Krishnan believes that statistics are stacked in favour of the middle-class. “There are about 250 million middle-class Indians of which about 160 million are voters. In the last general elections, about 6% of these voters turned up for voting. If they are given a better choice in terms of candidates who would be working-class professionals, they would be more inclined to cast their vote. Even if 30% exercise their franchise, the middle-class will rule the country”, he said. Professionals will solve problems more efficiently and politics could become a career option for the educated, he said.
The party believes in a top-down approach and wants to get into the Parliament first before moving to the states. Krishna Kumar Iyer, a party member said that they would rely on modern communication tools like blogs and the Internet to help get more professionals involved with the party. “The party plans to enter Parliament first and intends on building organisational support by the forming core groups across the country. We will be setting up chapters across the country and will attempt to drum up support from them. We will not look at roadside meetings or at addressing mass rallies. Our strategy will be different and there will be a focused effort to reach out to the educated middle-class professional across the country,” Iyer said.
Jayant Deshmukh, core-group member and treasurer said that core groups have begun the process of reaching out to the people. He thinks that fund raising would not be a major issue since the party would rely more on modern communication tools to get across to voters and this would ensure a very focused effort. “Funds will be raised from individuals and groups of people who are interested in promoting professional governance. Unlike other political leaders who attempt to reach out to the masses, we will focus on tapping the middle-class and in the process ensure that the vote is not fragmented among the 200-odd political parties,” Krishnan said.