It intrigues me why did the Bihar government give such a long span of time for campaigning in the Panchayat Elections 2011. For example, in those areas where polls are to be held on 27th April, nomination started on 28th February. Such a long span of time for campaigning in local bodies elections is just not justifiable.
The preparations of the candidates also involve criminal activities, and long span of time for campaign keeps common electorates under long haul of intimidations. Moreover, it also creates lot of administrative starin. When the enforcers of law will remain under starin the quality of governance is bound to be affected adversely. True, governance has improved a lot in recent past in Bihar, but that does not mean that criminal intimidations of common people have vanished.
It is a commonly known fact that during the elections, the notorious lumpens/ criminals indulge in dirty activities like making bombs and other explosives, storing and supplying illegal arms, their movements within villages demonstrating such arms to intimidate the electorates.
In my understanding, three weeks time is enough for the beginning of nomination process and the actual date of polls.
In the Panchayat elections, the dynamics are different, stakes are too closer and too higher. Caste-class tensions are much higher in the local bodies' elections than in the elections for legislative bodies.
In short, what one wishes is that this time the Bihar administration will launch a massive offensive against the lumpens/ criminals. Police raids, house searches of those notorious lumpens/ criminals will be carried out to ensure free and fair polls. A close watch and vigil on such elements is one of the most important task to be performed by the police. Such tasks put a lot of pressure on the under-staffed police, but conducting the polls in various phases should help Bihar hold its elections as smoothly as possible. One only wishes, dark days of bullet and blood letting in Bihar polls have gone for ever.
Hope, the Bihar government is listening with seriousness and sincerity.