Posts Tagged ‘AIADMK’

CHURUMURI POLL: Has India lost moral compass?

23 October 2012

In its 62nd year as a Republic, India presents a picture that can only mildy be termed unedifying.

Scams are raining down on a parched landscape with frightening ferocity. From outer space (2G, S-band) to the inner depths of mother earth (coal), the Congress-led UPA has had it all covered in its second stint. Meanwhile, Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of the first family of the Congress, has taken charge of scandals at or near sea level.

Salman Khurshid, the smooth-talking Oxford-educated law minister, thinks it is beneath his dignity to respond in a dignified manner to charges of pilfering Rs 71 lakh from the disabled. The Harvard-educated finance minister P. Chidambaram and his family is happily busy gobbling up parts of the east coast from farmers. Etcetera.

But what of the opposition?

The BJP’s president Nitin Gadkari is neckdeep in a gapla of his own,  one that threatens, in fact one that is designed to deprive him of a second stint in office. “Scam”, of course, was the middle-name of party’s Karnataka mascot, B.S. Yediyurappa. From Mulayam‘s SP to Mayawati‘s BSP to Sharad Pawar‘s NCP, from Karunanidhi‘s DMK to Jayalalitha‘s AIADMK, money-making is the be-all and end-all.

The less said of the corporates who have pillaged the country since time immemorial the better but Vijay Mallya presents its most compelling side as he shuts down his airline while his son hunts for calendar girls. The do-gooders of Team Anna and now Team Kejriwal are themselves subject to searching questions on their integrity levels. And the media is busy getting exposed as extortionists and blackmailers.

Questions: Have we as a country completely lost our moral and ethical compass? Are we going through an “unprecedented” phenomenon or is this what the US and other developed democracies like Japan have gone through in their path to progress? Or does it not matter in the greater scheme of things? Is all this leaving the citizenry cynical and frustrated or do we not care because all of us are in it, in our own little ways?

CHURUMURI POLL: Is Jayalalitha PM material?

28 June 2011

Tamil Nadu has generally played a big role in the formation of coalition governments at the Centre for nearly 15 years now, and the size and scale of the victory of the AIADMK in the assembly elections recently—and the current shape and state of the Congress, BJP and Left—has put plenty of fuel in the political tank of Jayalalitha Jayaram.

Suddenly, the controversial Mysore-born actor-turned-politician is holding all the cards as both the main parties bend backwards to woo her. For someone whose sole agenda till last month was dislodging the DMK government of M. Karunanidhi, she is now holding forth on national and international issues in a manner born.

In an interview with Arnab Goswami of Times Now yesterday, the Puratchi Thalaivi offered plenty of insight of how she views her enhanced role on the national stage, cryptically suggesting that “anything can happen before 2014”, meaning she could go either way or her own way, or that there could even be a mid-term election before 2014.

Since anything is possible in politics, as the sad cliche goes to explain H.D Deve Gowda becoming prime minister, is it also possible that Jayalalitha, if she stays away from both the two main formulations, could well end up heading the third front? And, if that is the case, could namma hudugi well emerge as a prime ministerial face?

Could her face, voice and demeanour, not to mention the fact that she is a woman, attract voters? Will she gain acceptance across the nation or will her confrontational style put off coalition partners? Could she be a better bet than whoever the Congress and BJP  decide to go with? Or is she counting her vada maangas before they pickle?

CHURUMURI POLL: Assembly polls, UPA or NDA?

10 May 2011

Friday the 13th, of May 2011, is clearly D-day in Indian politics.

The fate of the assembly elections in two States—West Bengal and Kerala—over which the Left parties have lorded over for decades will be known. While Kerala has been a five-yearly, on-off affair, it is Bengal that stands at the cusp. Will the Left step back from the abyss, or tumble over against Mamata Banerjee‘s Trinamul?

In Tamil Nadu, the ground zero of the 2G spectrum allocation scam—home of the DMK, A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, M. Karunanidhi‘s daughter Kanimozhi, and Kalaignar TV and Tamil Meiyyam and other dramatis personae—is facing an onslaught from Jayalalitha Jayaram and the AIADMK.

If the DMK-Congress pulls off a surprise win, and the Left is humbled in Bengal and Kerala, the assembly verdict will be a shot in the arm for the Congress-led UPA, which has been on the backfoot against a relentless torrent of corruption charges.

If the Left loses both States, it also means that the political centre well and truly belongs to the Congress and throws a big question mark over the BJP’s (and NDA’s) ability to capitalise on big issues like corruption.

What do you think is likely to happen? Is it advantage UPA or NDA? Is it a good thing for Indian democracy if the Left is wiped out from the political map? What does it say about the electorate if voters care two hoots for mind-numbing corruption? Or, are we all speaking too early?

(This churumuri poll allows you to post multiple responses)

CHURUMURI POLL: Judge vs Union minister

6 July 2009

The case involving the Madras High Court judge who reportedly received a call from a Union minister on granting anticipatory bail to two persons is remarkable for the u-turn it has taken—or has been forced to take.

On June 29, the judge R. Reghupathy, without naming anyone, said a Union minister tried to influence him to pass orders favouring the petitioners. According to this report, in which the reporter also mentions an off-the-record briefing by the judge after court, the minister is categorically reported to have spoken to the judge: “A Union minister talked to me. He influenced me to release this petitioner on anticipatory bail.”

The disclosure saw the usual to-and-fro from the political parties, with the BJP and Left united in their condemnation. Although the judge had not named the minister who talked to him, the BJP’s Arun Jaitley demanded that he be sacked.”The minister is not ‘a raja’ who was not accountable to anyone,” Jaitley, a Supreme Court advocate said, in a thinly disguised attempt to name the minister.

Kapil Sibal, a former Supreme Court lawyer now a serving cabinet minister, joined former atttorney general Soli J. Sorabjee, in demanding that the judge make the name public.

After the AIADMK leader J. Jayalalitha named A. Raja as the minister who spoke to the judge, the DMK chief M. Karunanidhi sought a clarification from the telecommunications minister. Meanwhile, MDMK chief Vaiko, an electoral ally of Jayalalitha, has suggested that Raja could have used another minister to pressure the judge. (The film star-turned-politician-turned Union minister D. Napoleon hails from the same area as Raja.)

A day after the incident became public, the chief justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, said “if the Minister had spoken to the Judge [as stated by him] then really it is an interference with judiciary.” Now, in an extraordinary turnaround, Justice Balakrishnan has said the judge did not really talk to the minister and that the counsel of the petitioners had held out a phone.

Clearly, there has been some hectic backpedalling. Who do you think is telling the truth?

Losers of the world unite. It’s all there to win.

10 May 2009

arun nehruFormer Union minister and Congressman turned BJP man, Arun Nehru, in Deccan Chronicle:

“The winners in the 2009 elections will be those who are able to maintain or improve upon their tally. In the winners’ category will be the BJP and the Congress, and apart from them the JDU, AIADMK, PMK, TDP, TRS, BSP and TMC.

“The losers will be the Left, SP, RJD, DMK. The Shiv Sena, NCP and BJD may hold on to their positions. But will the losers in 2009 determine government formation and can this lead to stability?

“Government formation will happen in stages and it is possible that the Congress may emerge as the single largest party, though the gap is getting narrower between the Congress and the BJP and there is another round of polling left.”

Read the full article: Seats of power

Arun Nehru: part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, part VI, part VII, part VIII

Of course, Indian politics is the art of the possible

22 March 2009

The Congress is in the middle of a blazing row with Lalu Prasad Yadav‘s RJD over seat sharing. The BJP, deserted by the Biju Janata Dal, is in the middle of a intra-party war between president Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitely, not to speak of its execrable validation of Varun Gandhi‘s conduct.

Little wonder, Arun Nehru‘s guesestimates for the 2009 general elections clearly drawn up before the Congress-RJD fallout, published in Deccan Chronicle, continue to show the two “national” parties still way behind the “others”, but with one small difference: The gap between the Congress (153) and BJP (130) seems to be widening.

“While every party is under pressure on alliance pattern and seat selection, the BJP continues to damage its prospects. The fact that the Trinamul Congress, the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Telugu Desam, the Biju Janata Dal and the National Conference (all NDA allies in 2004) have chosen to fight the 2009 elections on their own clearly indicates that they do not wish to alienate the minority vote.”

Graphic: courtesy Deccan Chronicle

Arun Nehru‘s earlier guesstimates: part I, part II, part III

CHURUMURI POLL: Who will you vote for?

27 November 2008

The latest terror attack on Bombay has the potential to alter the political landscape of the country, which may perhaps be one of the objectives of the perpetrators. While we must grieve those who have fallen prey, and salute those who have stood up to protect, an attack of this scale and spectacle usually has voters sizing up the performance of parties and politicians, of the government and the opposition, in their minds.

So, if the Lok Sabha election were to be held tomorrow, who would you vote for?

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Should Shivaraj Patil resign?

10 questions written in rage for Shivaraj Patil