Sunday, March 6, 2011

That's all, Your Honour! : Feb.27-Mar.5

1. The Election Commission announced dates for elections to state assemblies of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, West Bengal and Assam. TN, Kerala and Puducherry will all go to polls on April 13. West Bengal will have a six phase poll spread over a month nearly. Assam will have a two phase poll. The ruling left front in Kerala is staring at a huge defeat. The Congress led UDF is likely to come back to power in the state. In Assam, ruling Congress does seem to have an edge, but am not too familiar with the political happenings in the state fully. In West Bengal, Mamta Banerjee is all set to lead her party (in alliance with the Congress) to a historic victory in the Assembly elections. The Left front has been ruling the state since 3 decades and this will be the first time they will be losing the elections there. Mamta Banerjee has spent most of her energies on the state politics instead of being an effective railway minister, and hasn't hesitated to even take the open support of Maoists (terrorists) to take on the government. Tamil Nadu, so far, turns out to be the unpredictable state. The DMK-Congress alliance hasn't been finalised yet. DMK has announced that the talks have broken and their central ministers will all resign on Monday! Apparently Congress wants 63 seats, while DMK is ready to offer 60 seats. However, this just doesn't look like a fight over just 3 seats. Rumours are that CBI might question and possibly arrest Kanimozhi over the 2G scam and Karunanidhi is not happy about this. Congress is purposely making these demands so that DMK will call off this alliance, and then it can contest alone. Ofcourse, Congress stands no chance if it fights alone. The negotiations have been going on for more than a week. Initially the negotiations looked like a drama, just to confuse Jayalalitha. It was assumed that the alliance was done, and the public posturing was to just confuse Jayalalitha. However, with the DMK withdrawing support, the story has taken a bigger twist. The last date for filing nominations is the 19th, so there isn't much time left for the parties. Jayalalitha has already teamed up with Vijaykanth. So we do have an interesting one month ahead!

2. The Prime Minister has accepted responsibility for the appointment of the CVC (as if he has done a big favour!). He also said, he will speak in Parliament on this. Most probably on Monday. We need to know how and why he stuck to this choice. A mere "I accept responsibility" or " At that point of time..." stuff will not work this time. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj ruffled some feathers when she announced that she is happy with the PM's statement and we should close the matter now. BJP did not agree to this, and Sushma later issued a clarification. It is indeed sad that such a statement has been made in the first place. Why should we treat the matter closed? We need to know why such arrogance has been displayed by the PM, in the first place? What prompted him to set up a wrong precedent? Many questions, and Sushma Swaraj expects us to treat it closed? No way!

3. Ohh, Budget was presented this week. Most lacklustre of recent times. Enough said.

4. In a follow-up to last week's update on Godhra train burning case, 11 people have been awarded the death sentence. CNN-IBN's National Bureau chief asked "If justice has really been done"? He even organised a one hour chat session, taking questions. When asked if he read the 800 odd page judgement (multiple times), he never answered that question! Keep wondering how one can have a chat without even bothering to read the judgement! That's all, Your Honour!

3 comments:

Teja said...

Interesting that you have predicted results in every state except TN. Both history and present events point the victory towards Jayalalitha's alliance. I have also read that Vijayakanth used to say that he would never get into any sort of alliance and that's what god wants him to do. Now that he has an alliance, when asked, his party says "this is what god wants". Man! I wish god spoke to me like he does with our politicians.

Organizing chat show without even knowing anything about it...typical Indian media.

How in the gods name could Sushma Swaraj say the matter is closed? Never expected this from her.

Thyagarajan said...

Tamilnadu is full of rumours. One set of people are rumoring that vijayakanth was paid at the rate of two crores per seat. Evidently he had announced in public that he cannot get into any alliance for 30 and 40 seats,implying that his party was much more capable. He has therfore been offered 41 (which is more than 40) and hence he is satisfied.

At the other end the compulsions for the Congress for claiming more seats is seen as a tussle between Vasan camp and Chidambaram Camp. Vasan camp already contested 17 seats last time and more or less are assured the same seats this time. Chidambaram who is anointing his son for a more meaningful role in the state is under compulsions by his own satraps to increase his tally from 4 last time to close to 17 so that his son is seen as an equal to Vasan, if not more. This is the reason the rumormongers state that there is disquiet in the DMK-Congress pre-poll alliance talks.

One thing all the observers concede. This election is going to be a stiff test for both the top leaders of the Dravidian parties. Jaya will find it very tough to keep the flock with her if she loses and MK will have to answer for a lot of corrupt practices, if he loses. They say that figuratively and practically there could be blood shed between these two parties.

Sudhir said...

@Thyagarajan - That was a very good insight by you. I am really fascinated by how TN elections will turn out this time. This whole drama by Cong-DMK seems very orchestrated to me. Lets hope that the best party wins... and please do keep us posted on your thoughts on TN. Outsiders like me need such insights from insiders like you :)

-Sudhir

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