Election Campaign Recap - II : Unasked Questions

I had written in the earlier section that the agenda for this election was set more by the politicians than by public opinion. This resulted in several important questions that went unasked and unanswered. These were the questions that needed to be asked, but unfortunately didn't get any time in this campaign.

1. The Srilankan Conundrum: With the escalating power struggle in Sri Lanka, what is going to happen in Tamilnadu? Will TN become a free passage for arms and supplies to the LTTE if DMK comes to power? What are the parties' position on refugees? What are the parties' position on LTTE? Did people forget the Padmanabha/Rajiv Gandhi killings?

2. The Cauvery issue: What will the parties do on the Cauvery issue (other than funding the actors all the way to Neyveli to cut off the power to Karnataka)? What was DMK's position on how the ADMK government handled the Cauvery issue? What would the DMK have done differently?

3. Past performance of the Karunanidhi Government: Surely, it was not all land of milk and honey when DMK was in power. Still, the performance of Karunanidhi governments, especially the one in the 90s went unquestioned. Karunanidhi had a field day talking about the ADMK manifesto and how much of it the ADMK government actually fulfilled. But, how about DMK? In the '96 elections, how many items that Karunanidhi promised did he actually deliver? As far as I saw, the only reference to past DMK governments was to the "roobaikku 3 padi arisi" promise some 35 years ago.

4. Government workers: I think the bulk of the people who are NOT government workers, would have supported the measures Jayalalitha took, to make the workers more efficient and accountable. The government employees got a jolt of their lives. Apparently, the complacency in the govt offices was reduced a lot due to JJ's actions. If this was the case, why was there not a call to do more of this? To make the govt more accountable and reduce the bureaucracy?

5. TV Campaigns: There is a limit set by the Election Commission on how much each candidate can spend. What about the propaganda on the rival television channels? Who pays for all that? How is it accounted? Does this kind of "soft contributions" go unaudited? The amount of political campaigning done in Sun and Jaya TV are unbelievable. A tamil new year kaviyarangam was a call to vote for DMK. Even in the Sun TV news, the "sonnadhu yaar" segment featured pro-DMK quotes!

6. Who killed Tha.Krishnan? What will the position of Communists/Congress either side of the border be on the Mullah Periyar Dam? How many people were actually arrested during the time the "Anti-forced conversions law" was in effect? Was that law misused, did it stop communal clashes? How was the ADMK government's performance on clamping down on the safety of schools after the Kumbakonam fire accident?

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11 comments: to “ Election Campaign Recap - II : Unasked Questions


  •  

    enna nee over a kostin kEkkurE ? nee thamizangaradhai maRadnuttiya ?

  • Anonymous

     

    Dear Balaji

    I remind you that you can not ask these sort of questions from 11th onwards. You may not be aware of Clive hostels, Annamalai Universities, Thughlaks and Kumudams not mention about Fatima Babu or Tha Krishnan or Anna Nagar Ramesh. You must have seen the Jaya TV documentary on Kannamma movie too. There is a ugly tradition in Tamil Nadu to be loyal and afflicted to a particular party. As long as that culture persists in TN, it is the land for rowdies and now the modern TV mafias. It is the arithmetic that is destroying TN.

    From 11th You will be forced to close Hot Machi Hot if you dont close automatically.

    Regards
    Rajan

  • Anonymous

     

    i hope admk wins . dmk justs wants to capture power.imagine if ur 83 yrs old , i would have surely retired , but look at karunidhi , he stills wants that padhvi and chief minister post.

    long live admk

  • Anonymous

     

    We are going to soon have colour TV with which we can see more serials and develop our general knowledge.Hiyaa..jolly.. We are going to have uncles who can own wine shops. We are going to have rowdies around whom of late were seen only in movies and serials. We are not going to have another tsunami nor a situation of excess water. Congress will get us cauvery water from Karnataka. We are going to have our parents\relatives in govt positions enjoy life with us without any fear. We are going to have more money in our pockets in spite of a global depression. We are going to see Vijayakanth back in movies. We are going to have a single corporate group and richest people in the world. We can see live wars as no action will be taken for caste clashes. We need a taste of all this.

  • Anonymous

     

    That old man after getting elected in the last general elections chose not to attend the sessions, but divided his time to remain with his two wifes at different locations. As the elected representative this is the contribution he made to the poor.
    The actual losers this time are his two wifes who will be missing him, because for sure he will certainly be present in the assembly to ensure that every day he puts his signature for all the promises he made.
    May be Dayanidi can try his best to get exclusive right for marketing those cheap TVs promised to every household and before his term expires he can figure himself in the top 10 rich men.
    But please dont ask when the next election comes how many of those colour TVs will be there with the recipients, as most of them would have shifted to their 20 acre farm lands/houses where these mini TVs will be a mismatch and may have gone in for hometheatres.

  • Anonymous

     

    Hi Balaji,
    Regarding first question, why people should always have that killings in mind ?

    let me ask a question to you.

    Mr A and Mr B are brothers and Mr B is having a small company.

    A Local panchayat leader 'L' had some issue with Mr B and sent his goondas to Mr B's place.
    There were some damages to Mr B's company premises and some ladies were affected.

    Once Lady who was working with Mr B'company -one day kills the Panchayat Leader.

    Will u blame Mr B also for these ??

    As A is B's brother - who will support ? B or L
    ----------------------------
    So We Tamilians should make it clear that not to mix Eelam Tamil issue along with LTTE.

    after all giving a moral support we are talking so much on this...

    Long live the Panyachat Leader soul !

    --------------------------------

  • Anonymous

     

    It is all over folks!!! Octogenarian Muthuvel Karunanidhi (MK) and its DPA alliance will be elected tomorrow. While reliable early polls predicted a close contest, the reliable recent opinion and exit polls are pointing to a landslide victory for DPA alliance. More importantly in this election, MK is drawing crowds more than that of the last Lok sabha elections when their alliance bagged all the 40 seats. It is even bigger than 1967 crowds when Annadurai and its DMK came to power. MK and DM is drawing more crowds in Ramnad district for the first time since MGR demise which itself is a great surprise. What is the reason for this sea change? Is it a temporary election phenomenon? Are the old DMK followers coming back home to say farewell to Octogenarian MK by electing him and his DMK one more time? Are they come to see next generation DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran (DM)? Are they attracted by the leftist DMK election manifesto? Whatever may be the reason here is the rating of the politicians in Tamilnadu based on the performance so far:

    1. Bill Clinton of Tamilnadu: Dayanidihi Maran (DM) – He is connecting with the old and the young, rich and the poor. He is the most sought person within DMK party for speaking in public meetings. He was invited not because he is the grandson of MK, but he comes across as a sincere politician, interacts with ordinary folks, and displays a demeanor of that of an educated young man capable of accomplishing things. He is not a old style great Tamil orator but he communicates well and connects with the public. He will be the next CM of TN 6 months to a year from now. He will contest in Chepauk constituency replacing his grandpa. I really don’t know whether DM has really threatened the Tatas or not. (Hey, Tom Delay - the Hammer was doing it for years in Washington exactly this - nobody called it that it is a crime). Threatening for a piece of his business is not a crime – it is a business tactic. Even if it is true, to me, it is a positive point because he is not afraid of the giants. Tatas, Birlas and Ambanis of the world (and by the way they are not Gods) have became rich and monopolized various industries in the last 50 years (with the help from congress and BJP govts) exactly doing what DM is accused of. DM’s performance in the Centre (IT sector) for public good and inviting Bill Gates to Intel Chief to TN is a laudable act. If he does the same thing in TN as CM that would make TN a heaven for new ‘low’ and ‘high’ wage employment. I haven’t seen a single politician like him in any major parties in TN for his polished public relation and lobbying skills. (Even P Chidambaram lacks these skills.) This is a great asset for TN. Don’t underestimate it. Voters see him (DM) as their next CM. Therefore, I call DM as the Bill Clinton of TN because he clearly connects with the masses during this election. I do not relate the personal failures of Bill Clinton with that of DM of which he has none sofar.

    2. Mario Cuomo of Tamilnadu: MK Stalin – Had DMK won the election in 2001 he would have become CM. But not now. (Mario Cuomo lost his chance to become President of USA by not running in the weak Democratic primaries in 1992 when Clinton won.)

    3. Robert Rubin of Tamilnadu: P Chidambaram – Capitalist minded but forced to defend MK’s leftist DMK manifesto. (Robin Rubin – a capitalist treasury secretary of Bill Clinton defended some of the socialistic fiscal policies of Bill Clinton and succeeded while doing so)

    4. Howard Dean of Tamilnadu: Vijaya T Rajendar – A colorful speaker

    5. John Kerry of Tamilnadu: Jayalalitha - Finally, she displayed her weakness in political skills. You can’t endorse (indirectly) your opponent’s poll manifesto. You can’t be against it (Rs 2/kg rice) before you are for it (10kg free rice). This is the turning point for this election. Voters didn’t care about whether MK is going to give Rs. 2/kg of rice or not. They used this criteria to evaluate which politician is sincere or not. This major goof combined with the absence of friends surrounding JJ made her look insincere. Moreover, folks - in politics you need friends. (John Kerry lost it to Bush ever since he made the big flip-flop statement on a Senate War vote)

    4. Sour grapes: Maran brothers and their family SunTV business have become an issue in this election. SunTV was started by Kalanidhi Maran when the DMK was in Opposition in both in the state and in the centre (1990-92). He took risk and succeeded in his business. As a smart businessman, he expanded his business in the entire south India with a variety of 14 channels in different languages and monopolized the business. The entire south India Cinema industry stalwarts like AVM who had a large library of films slept on the wheel while Maran was succeeding with SunTV. They or any one in the movie industry could have started this business. They didn’t. That is why now after looking at Maran’s success, from the TN movie producers to fellow DMK and other politicians (VaiKo, Sarathkumar, Vishu etc); they were all envy of him. Give him credit when it is due. Kalanidhi Maran succeeded on his own to become a giant in this satellite TV business. So far there is no SPECIFIC complaint that he used illegal political influence to start or expand his business. Becoming a successful business man is an achievement not a crime. (In our Indian culture, most of the time we don’t appreciate when a person succeeds – immediately we ascribe it to some kind of undeserved ill-gotten wealth.)


    5. VaiKo – a colossal failure: I had high regard for the DMK MPs of the 1962-67 era. Annadurai, Murasoli Maran, Vaiko, Nanjil Manoharan, Era Chezhian, Dhandapani etc were all educated MABL lawyers and they were the only ones who spoke in the Lok sabha about “State-Autonomy” issues in those days. Compared to the then ruling congress party MPs, these guys were dedicated young guys who had enormous knowledge in the Center-State issues area. This VaiKo could have become a central minister along with Murasoli Maran under Vajpayee. He chose not to join the ministry even when his MDMK MPs became ministers. Had he joined and performed, he could have made a name for himself. But, he didn’t. He can’t blame MK for this. He had a direct contact with Vajpayee. Later, he could have become a Central minister again under Manmohan Singh. First he refused. Then when he wanted to become a minister, his quota was taken by DMK according to him. Why he didn’t utilize the opportunity when it was first given. He can only blame himself and he can’t blame MK for this again. Now he is envy of Dayanidhi Maran because he made a name for himself as a central minister. He is indecisive and consistently doesn’t make right political decisions (probably because of L Ganesan). That way he is a colossal failure and a major disappointment..

    Finally about MK: In spite of all the bad verbiage thrown against him over the years, a considerable percentage of voters who once supported him is coming back to him because of his sincerity. At this age of 83, voters don’t think that he is doing it for personal gain or for his family business. The voters think that he is sincere and that is why he released a extreme leftist poll manifesto. These voters also think that he might deliver the promises either through his grandson or son.
    Here is the prediction. DPA: 195 others: 39

  • Priya Vetrivel

     

    Very well said...No not for Balaji..No way..

    I was talking about the last comment..wonderful analogies from US politics.

    Entire Tamilnadu is glad that Jaya is losing. 220+ DMK.

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