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Amma speaks, ambivalence remains

The role of the regional parties in the formation of the next government in Delhi is crystallising. The Trinamool National Congress [TNC] led by Mamata Banerjee has spoken up loud and clear. No ambiguity here. Mamata is dead against a BJP government, will only support a Congress-led or Congress-backed government and is confident of a key role in the making of India’s next leadership.

The Bahujan Samaj Party [BSP] led by Mayawati also has taken a similar stance. So, arguably, National Congress Party [NCP] led by Sharad Pawar. 
On the other hand, Samajwadi Party [SP] led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janta Dal United [JD-U] led by Nitish Kumar are virulently opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP], while also opting for a non-Congress government, ideally speaking. The TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao is equally categorical about not supporting a BJP government. “I am making a policy statement. TRS will not align with communal forces… We are a cent percent secular party. We will not join the NDA,” Rao announced at a massive public meeting yesterday.  
The Biju Janta Dal [BJD] led by Naveen Patnaik is in a slightly different mode insofar as it keeps “equidistance” between Congress and BJP. Unlike SP and JD-U, Patnaik is not carrying any ideological baggage, which of course leaves the door open for fine-tuning later. 
Indeed, what brings these regional parties together on a common platform would seem to be their antipathy (in varying degrees) toward the persona of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. 
Their antipathy toward Modi ranges from the visceral opposition bordering on hostility toward him (Mamata, Mayawati, Mulayam and Nitish Kumar) to fluctuating moods of aversion on the part of Pawar and Patnaik. 
That leaves out another major regional party that is widely expected to do well at the polls — All India Dravida Munneta Kazhakam [AIDMK] led by Jayalalitha. ‘Amma’ so far directed the AIDMK to focus on its criticism of Congress — although, ironically, the latter is a virtual washout in Tamil Nadu politics. However, she broke fresh ground yesterday by criticising the BJP as well. 
The media gives varying spin to what Jayalaithaa meant. There is hullabaloo that she “sparred” with Modi. But is it really so?  To my mind, Jayalaithaa neatly sidestepped Modi — although he was going to be in Tamil Nadu for an election rally yesterday. 
Jayalaithaa is a smart politician and she chose to criticise BJP on a manifestly ‘non-Modi’ issue — BJP’s unhelpful stance over the waters flowing through the great Cauvery river in Tamil Nadu. No doubt, the Cauvery river water dispute is an emotive issue, but the pertinent thing is that she said NOTHING at all on the core issue that others habitually bring up to berate the Modi-led BJP — secularism. The issue of secularism is a political metaphor today to castigate Modi and Jayalaithaa can’t be unaware of it. 
Perhaps, she was even too acutely aware of it and therefore deliberately chose to give it a wide berth. In sum, the effect she produced is that she is keeping, somewhat like Patnaik, “equidistance” from Congress and BJP. (New Indian Express). 
The big question, therefore, remains: What will she do if Modi makes an accommodative noise about the Cauvery issue sometime toward May 20 — ie., after the votes have been counted in Karnataka?
Indeed, Modi has already reciprocated. Apart from holding a celebrated meeting with Rajnikanth while in Chennai yesterday out of which he certainly hopes to attract a few votes from amongst the actor’s fans, Modi made what is quintessentially an election speech by arguing the case persuasively for ‘post-Dravida’ politics. 
But, he avoided any vitriolic attack on Jayalithaa, as he is wont to while speaking of Mamata, Mayawati, Nitish Kumar, Patnaik, et al. (Modi even poked fun at Patnaik’s lack of familiarity with Oriya language.) Actually, Jayalatihaa’s failure to file income tax papers ought to be the stuff of a classic Modi speech. But he wouldn’t even look at it. 
Jayalaithaa probably doesn’t need Muslim votes. Muslims account for only 5 percent of Tamil Nadu’s population. But then, they are concentrated in certain areas — Ramanathapuram, Vellore, Tirunelveli, Nilgiris, Chennai, Nagapattinam, Tanjavur, etc. — and are thinly spread out. In a multi-pronged contest as today’s in Tamil Nadu, however, each and every vote counts. And the Muslim organisations seem to grasp how Jayalaithaa’s abacus is working. They have thrown their lot with her main adversary M. Karunanidhi. 

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19 Responses

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  1. Parthasarathy Venkat Krishna says

    TN has been voting for centre election , some one who will be the future PM n Govt. This time with Dmk, Cong, standing alone n smaller outfits Ddmk, pmk, mdmk etc with BJP which has not too many takers. Bjp certainly has improved. Thus devised vote n ammas msh of ” chalo delhi” n her capabilities etc n the young and confused voters have given the mandate out of no choice she shoul honour the mandate n help the centre to help the state. If she takes negative view she will. Be n state wud be big looser.

  2. kODIHALLI Keshavamurthy says

    people of tamilnadu thought that jaya will lead a third front for prime minister post so voted for her same as in west bengal people thought that mamata has also has a chance for pm post they also voted for her only for that reason but bjp and modi wave dismantled all excepations of these two states.

  3. sanjeev kumar singla says

    aLL THIS IS PSTURING AIMED AT MISLIM VOTE BANK BY PSEUDOSECULARS . SOONER OR LATER ALLSUCH TRICKS WILL BE X-POSED AS THE MODI RULE SPREADS THE LIGHT OF PROGRESSIVE POLICIES WITHOUT BIAS FOR ANYONE RELIGIOUS GROUP.

  4. Anonymous says

    Educated and uneducated all started appreciating Jayalalitha’s Ruling of TN. Don’t question silly as ‘Are you educated’? on the person who supports her Govt. Jayalalitha’s ruling was bad once , when she ruled the Govt. for the first time. After that, she had a big fall which made her to realize the reality. Now In India, she is the best ruler of States. She has the capability of becoming PM. Yes, she has to be authoritative to save the People and TN, from the Rowdism.

  5. Shiva Kumar says

    I can do no more than sympathise with the people of Tamilnadu who simply ignored a rare opportunity that they had on their hands during this election wherein they could have taught a lesson to the autocratic and reckless governance of AIADMK and the erstwhile DMK. jayalalitha has always been extremely autocratic and authoritative in her conduct and this landslide victory that the people of Tamilnadu have gifted here will only increase her will make her heavy headed and anarchist.

    God save Tamilnadu.

  6. Srinivasan Iyer says

    No one can deny that she is perhaps the shrewdest and cleverest of the contenders from the regional parties. The BJP have not tried to use the anti corruption slogan in T

  7. Krish says

    One can see wide ranging sexist remarks made against Jaya, as though all the male politicians are praiseworthy. By any stretch of imagination one can claim that Modi is more democratic than Jaya. People talk of power problems- little do they realize that TN has highest FDI in last three years and incredibly unbelievable to Jaya -bashers…most public investment in power has been made in TN. TN’s power shortage is partly due to reckless free power gifted by Karunanidhi to win 2005 state, but shortage is also because TN has highest number of factories. Manufacturing in TN is about twice the size of GJ and about 30% more than second placed MH. Per capita power consumption is also higher than GJ. India itself is power deficit and even MH has regular 8 hour cuts outside of Mumbai. Would you rather have no manufacturing and no power cut!!!! Coming to politics- it is not secret that Modi and Jaya have fooled everyone to believe that there is no arrangement between the two. Cleverly they have made sure that no alliance has formed to challenge Jaya. Unfortunately DMK has still managed to win 7 seats despite massive role in mega scams of the century- 2G, VSNL maxis, Sethu, money laundering, and probably legitimate share of UPA’s other scams- rail, coal etc.
    Jaya bashers should instead look for logical issues and issues of substance than merely paint her as this or that. Frankly, BJP has no choice but to be selective in alliances. And if Modi is indeed interested in growth he can’t afford to ignore MH, TN, KA, AP, WB.

  8. ganga krishnaiyer says

    Present Polls(Opinion,Pre and Post Electoral -What ever it is -The AAm AAdmi (not the party Of A.V.Kejriwal but that of R.K.Laxman is still waiting with irritation and the little patience left in him. once the North belt of UP,Bihar, Rajasthan are educted(Not lettered like Kerala) Then you’ll know the power of AAm AAdmi..67 years of Mis Management (Governance) ,increasing Forbes List Millionaires of Indian Politicians and Beurocrats ( How they account for their earnings 1laks monthly salry, some tour allowances 5 crores for constituency development etc. One party’s president quoted some 9 lakhs as borrowed loan from some family member
    but how it it that person is one among the top ten in Forbes.People understand this.
    Last but not the least Politics is the best business in the present day world.You can be in the Forbes list

  9. Chandra Prakash says

    We have three spinsters in the Indian politics aka Jayalalitha, Mayavati and Mamta Bannerjee and all three are eccentrics to the core…. They don’t know what they are doing but they fool people very easily and this gives them chance to rule in their respective states….. Blame the people in those states who can’t see through their dirty politics….

  10. Sasidharan Nair says

    Be it Jayalalita,or Mamta,Or Mayavati or that saffron clad Uma,all these ladies are arrogant and hate their collegues,mostly men as they lack the real experience,which every woman must have.

  11. ragavendra says

    JJ is may have better knowledge etc..etc the difference is that, In Gujarat a women in can walk freely even 1 pm mid night, where as mamta, mayawati and jj can do this in their state… mamta is ant india she is converting WB in to Muslim state by allowing a crore muslim Bangladeshi thru gate way of kolkatta, she can’t make women freely in his state, mayawati she really does not working up lift ment poor in this state every day 100′s women attacked, jj the queen of india’s biggest govt run liqor shop’s makes women difficult to walk in day time and spoils crores people peace and life with this ….we can list like this many more…abot others…. mr modi stand’s separately he is the right man for pm

  12. mr c says

    When clamouring for power one should also think of generating power. Why are they objecting to Koodamkulam nuclear powerproject. There is no use blaming Amma . U cannot get cheap power when u have to buy it from the market.

  13. Ramesh bharat says

    Mr.C.

    Are u an educated person?.. u r the only one one who thinks Amma is good leader and compassionate being,, Amma is not after money?.. u must one of those form rural TN or from MGR rasikar mandrams.. Both DMK,ADMK are equally corrupt.. and the only thing Amma does is nullify projects started by DMK.

  14. mr c says

    Amma’s ruling in TN is far better as compared to KN. She is very compassionate to the poor and the middle class. She is not after money. It would be better for TN electorate to support her in both Legislative and Lok Sabha elections. Even for the country to remain United as one piece although there may be many short comings, it would be better to elect Congress for the Lok Sabha elections. Hope the electorate will do congress the deserved justice. A coalition is not a good idea be it congress or bjp. A coalition of UPA is still preferred as they are tested and have many capable people to run the country.Modi centric govt. would not appear a good choice. They are supported by certain regional outfits who are against north indians migrating to Mumbai for livelihood.

  15. Sasidharan Nair says

    These Un married women ( I don’t know) in indian politics,behaves like real hosewives. They have no strong opinion and try to find fault with others as most house wives do to their husbands. They want fame and to consolidate their positions,they behaves like spendthrifts. One was engaged in Exhibiting thousands of statues,Other gives sops of all kinds and yet another want to show the might by scolding and masquerading on gents. What is this? They show themselves their in capacity to be real political leaders.Each of them want to become prime minister and ready to play any gimmics for this. These all shows the pathetic state of our Democracy.
    We had efficient Women ministers and one Prime minister from women,but these women now in politics have no mettle for that post. But if they come to that post we can not have other option. In this country,we had one PM,Devagowda and any one from these women will be better than him.

  16. joseph phillip vanhaltren says

    For limer rodriguez:

    Being a pathetic entrepreneur in Tamil Nadu, do u think everyone will tolerate the power problem. Surely this will play a major role in the fall of the AIADMK govt. And if they dont take any step towards it, they will have a washout in the Assembly elections also. People’s wrath over the AIADMK govt is taking a toil and we are not idiots to sit and watch people swindling us without power, but if we dont pay our taxes, they immediately scrutinize us. This is unacceptable. The youth will rule this poll.

  17. Govindan says

    Modi has not crated any myth. Modi has not said at any time that Gujarat is number one state in development. First of all development is a relative word. He has solved the problem of power , road and water. Infrastructure development and governance Gujarat is in top position. It has many subsidies, though fewer than in other states. Still, business thrives in its business-friendly climate. One businessman told me that in Tamil Nadu, it took six months and several visits (and payments) to ministries for industrial approval. But in Gujarat, the ministry concerned called him the day before his appointment, asking for details of his proposal. Next day, he found the bureaucracy had in advance prepared plans of possible locations for his project, and settled the matter on the spot. This was unthinkable elsewhere, and showed both efficiency and honesty. Corruption has not disappeared in Gujarat, but is muted.

  18. limer rodriguez says

    IT IS AN ACID TEST FOR TN AND TMIL NADU PEOPLE. SO FAR TN PEOPLE HAVE VOTED VERY CLERLY INCLUDING THE LAST ASSY. ELECTION. JJ IS NO DOUBT A WONDERFUL LEADER. THE VERY FACT THAT HE HANDLED THE POWER PROBLEM. LAST THREE YEARS THERE IS SUDDEN SURGE IN POWER CONSUMPTION. AIR CONTINIONER USAGE BECAUSE OF HOT CLIMATE, 24 HOUR FAN USAGE, GROWTH OF MALLS AND INOX THEATRES, USAGE OF INDUCTION STOVES IN PLACE OF GAS OVENS AND THE USE OF ALL BASIC ELECTRICAL ITEMS SUCH AS MIXIE, GRINDERS, LAPTOPS, ETC. BY ALMOST ALL THE PEOPLE IN TAMIL NADU . WHEREAS IN THE NEIGHBOURING STATES LIKE KERALA THE OF AIRCONDITIONERS AND FANS ARE LESS AND SO IN KARNATAKA IT IS MINIMUM AND AT CERTAIN SEASON IT IS VERY MINIMUM. WITH ALL THAT JJ HAS BEEN HANDLING POWER CRISIS. PLUS CENTRE’S SUPPORT IS NIL. THEY REJECTED POWER FROM SURPLUS QUANTITTY, NO FACILITY PROVIDED TO BUY POWER OTHER STATES, ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RBI TO REFUSE BANK LOANS TO TN ELECTRICITY DEPT. AGAINST ALL THESE ODDS JJ IS WORKING. POWER PROBLEM IS ALSO NOT ONLY TAMIL NADU, IT IS THEIR IN CONGRESS RULED STATE ANDHRA PRADESH, KARNATAKA AND EVEN IN DELHI. SO TN PEOPLE SHOULD NOT TAKE POWER PROBLEM AS THE REASON WHILE VOTING .

  19. Nandakumar says

    JJ should be a natural ally for BJP for she has brought the fear of God into her party first. Especially this is a remarkable shift as she inherited her party as a part of non believers. Her attitude to development too is similar to Modi. If only she could compromise on the post at the central govt then the combination could be very beneficial to the people of Tamilnadu,

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