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TN Election 2011 – Anti Incumbency or Vote against Corruption???

In Opinion on May 13, 2011 by shsmani Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

 

With the verdict out, the clear question on every one’s mind is, have people voted against corruption or is it just an anti incumbency factor with no other choice than to fall back to the other major party in the state as it has been happening since inception of Tamil Nadu as a State with the exception of 1991, which is largely attributed to the shock assassination of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The fact that Tamil Nadu has seen only 4 full time Chief Ministers ever since it became Tamil Nadu state is a testimony to the strong hold, the regional parties in DMK and ADMK have over the political affairs in the state. Those four being Annadurai, MGR, Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha. We have had intermittent chief TN Elections 2011

Ministers in Janaki Ramachandran and Nedunchezian who lasted only a few weeks both of them were acting Chief Ministers. The only other chief Minister who was in office for about 6 months is my O.Pannerselvam, who was widely regarded as the dummy to AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha.

The fact that Tamil Nadu has seen only 4 full time Chief Ministers ever since it became Tamil Nadu state is a testimony to the strong hold, the regional parties in DMK and ADMK have over the political affairs in the state. Those four being Annadurai, MGR, Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha. We have had intermittent chief Ministers in Janaki Ramachandran and Nedunchezian who lasted only a few weeks both of them were acting Chief Ministers. The only other chief Minister who was in office for about 6 months is my O.Pannerselvam, who was widely regarded as the dummy to AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha.

Looking back at the pattern of how the parties have been in power clearly indicates that it has been alternating every 5 years with the only exception being MGR’s 10 year term between 1977 and 1987 which was also came to end because of his death. Jayalalitha being in power 3 times in 1991, 2001 and now in 2011. Karunanidhi has been the Chief Minister maximum number of times at 5. Interestingly, only 3 out of his 5 terms have been full 5 year terms and even in that, one of his full three terms came to a close because of imposing President’s rule on account of corruption charges against Karuna’s government. On the Contrary Jayalalitha has enjoyed 2 out of 2 full 5 year terms so far.

Talking about Jayalalitha’s 2 terms, they weren’t bed of roses either. She began her tenure in 2001 with the controversial arrest of DMK chief Karunanidhi, which was basically a tit for tat for her arrests during his previous tenure. It was further marred by her actions against Kanchi seer and then the State government employees who went on strike.  Not to forget the O Pannerselvam episode because of her court cases. Her earlier tenure between 1991 and 1996 was dominated by the Sasikala episode and the grand marriage of his adopted son and the resultant power cuts due to the extravagance of the marriage, not to mention the various scams and court cases. 

While DMK’s government have been marred by corruption charges and law disorder across the state, ADMK’s government though excelled on anti-corruption and very good law and order situation was marred by excesses not only to politically affiliated people but also common people. Each of her actions affected the sentiments of various sections of the public, which was clearly visible in the 14th Lok Sabha elections where ADMK did not get even a single seat in the Parliament.

It is very clear that the People of Tamil Nadu deliver justice through the voting system every term. They are angered by DMK’s corrupt government or the excesses of ADMK government and vote for the other party. There is a slight tilt in the trend in favor of ADMK which tends to suggest that people are more angered by DMK’s corrupt practices and the growth of DMK chief’s family, which by the way is an extended family spread across cities and towns and it is interesting that it is considered legal, which in itself is a separate discussion entirely. All 2 terms when AIADMK were sent out of power indicates this.

In 1991, there were approximately, 11 million voters and in 1996 when AIADMK were voted out of power, there were only approximately 6 million voters. It was widely reported that the missing 5 million names in the electoral roles were Pro ADMK voters. In 2006, in spite of ADMK’s excesses in the first 3 years of its term, its reversal of policies and good governance in the 2005 and 2006 certainly helped them gain some lost ground. While the expectation was that DMK will sweep the elections, however ADMK managed to win 61 seats, while MDMK not only won a few seats but also, divided the anti DMK vote between ADMK and DMDK which indirectly led to DMK’s victory.

So clearly, DMK were not the favorites even when they came to power in 2006, so it does not come as a surprise this time, ADMK has made a clean sweep in the elections. This added to the fact that DMK’s atrocities this time have exceeded all borders. Be it Karuna’s favors for his family both at the State and at central level, or be it their dominance in most of the industries in the state including the movie industry or the much publicized 2G scam. While anti-incumbency has been the leading reason for regime changes every term, this time people have expressed their minds very clearly by making it a clear win for ADMK. This shows the growing anger of the atrocities committed by the DMK led front in the state.

People of Tamil Nadu have a very good track record of display of intent through the electoral process. Unfortunately, there are not many options available. With Central parties like Congress and BJP never a force to reckon with, people are left to choose from the better of the two. With ADMK coming into power this term, one can only hope that they capitalize on their track record of good governance and go on to give a good 5 years to the People of Tamil Nadu. If anybody, people of Tamil Nadu certainly deserve a good government.

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