Parties should compete by governance, not religion: Pilot

New Delhi, Dec 21 : Urging politicians to ensure that the polity does not become acrimonius by invoking traditional divisions, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot Saturday said the time had come for parties to put speeches into action.

"Time is ripe for us (parties) to make sure that our polity does not become acrimonious, that we approach people not as enemies, but as competitors asking people to vote not on the basis of the religion and caste we belong to, but who can serve you better," Pilot said in an interactive session organised here by FICCI at the industry chamber's 86th annual general meeting.

Emphasising that "general elections, specially, will have to be fought in a way so we can demonstrate by example, the corporate affairs minister said : "All of us political parties, the speeches we make talk of governance, administration, delivery of goods, transparency, the time has come to put that into action."

Having said this, Pilot also added that he was not turning a blind eye to the Indian "reality" of how elections are actually fought on the basis of appeals to traditional loyalties like caste and religion.

"The electoral nuances, no one is blind to that. We all know the Indian reality, on how elections are conducted," Pilot said.

The young minister of state with independent charge of his ministry also called for greater empathy between the middle class and those elected to parliament, which he said mirrors the changes and churning that Indian society is experiencing.

"Our politicians have not been imported from Mars, they're from the same schools and colleges, cities and villages that we have grown up in. We can say they're not us, because we speak better, eat better, live better. But the fact of the matter is they have been elected by 2 million people at a time, who have collectively decided that this gentleman or lady is the best," the minister said.

--IANS (Posted on 21-12-2013)

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