May 12, 2006

The Left Surge in Elections

Over the past one month, state elections were happening in Kerala,TN,West Bengal..And the results came yesterday. As expected, Left won in Bengal and Kerala..Tamil Nadu went to DMK.
Lets go through what factors were at stake and what influenced the electorate in each of those states

Buddha Smiles In Bengal

Taking this caption from one of the news paper reports that I read today..In the absence of a credible opposition, the victory of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was never in doubt..But the brutal majority of 230+ in a house of 294 is simply awesome..Whatever be the usual allegations of rigging,Bangladeshi voters etc, people in Communist heartland has given a strong thumbs up to
the rule of Buddhadeb.. Touted as the modern Deng XiaoPend of India, the reformist agenda enacted by Buddhadeb against the backdrop of old patriarchs of communism has really gone well with the middleclass of Bengal..Backed up by a team of dedicated ministers and an acqueiscent Politburo, he's leading Bengal firmly to the path of development..And the people are behind him. This is a case of an individual's charisma rising above the party principles.. And it ultimately goes well with the society.His popularity is now at such a level that even the diehard Marxist idealogues doesnt have any say against him..True, Buddhadeb is not preaching communism ..he's just doing what needs to be done regardless of those antique principles. Hope this will bring more benifits to the nation.

Amma shown the door in Chennai

I'm not some one who admires this lady very much..I pity people who fall at her feet and pray as if she's the God. But whatever, I was a little bit impressed by the changes that have been brought about by the Rule of Jayalalithaa in Chennai..Most of the roads in city are remarkably clean, the drinking water problem at Chennai has been solved atleast to some extent, and my friends say that the peace has been remarkably restored by the strong police administration. The tsunami relief efforts were also commendable.. And on the eve of elections, she did a deft political manoeuvre by bringing in Vaiko. Then why did she loss against an ever quarelling DMK? Perhaps it can be traced down to some among the following reasons..

1) The colour TV effect
Well, Karunanidhi's offer of free color TV to the households under poverty line has been said to have caused some effect.. If that is true, then I can just pity with the people who went and voted for someone who played such a cheap political gimmick.

2) The 'Govt employee' effect.
Large parts of Tamil Nadu still remain very much traditional. For them a govt job really means a lot. It has a very high value and safety factor associated with it.. In her initial years, Jayalalitha tried to mow down the organized bargaining power og govt employees by strong arm measures like suspensions..Even though they were reinstated just before the elections, this could have been a deciding factor there.

3) Muslim votebank..
I hate votebank politics..But I guess Jayalalitha's proximity to the BJP has been regarded as a strong reason by a big section of muslim population to vote against her. And her inability to speed up Trial in Coimbatore blast cases has also not gone well with that community.

4) Vijayakanth Effect
Tamil Nadu is a state where people view film stars like Gods.. Annadurai,MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajni ...the list goes on. Movies are an integral part of their life. And Vijayakanth is the latest entrant.Although the party floated by him just won only one seat ( Vijayakanth himself ), the vote share garnered by him across Tamil Nadu is 8 %.. Now thats a sizeable figure..Whose voteshare they have eaten into is a debatable subject..But, that swing has certainly caused a difference.

Kerala painted in Red.

"Gods own Country..Devil's own people..And we are among them " ..The congress in Kerala really deserves to carry that caption.. I'm not a leftist..But I've been extremely happy with the mandate that kerala has handed out .. In most constituencies, the deserving candidates won.
Many heartening things happened in this election..

1)The loss of Muslim league.
BJP is communal, but muslim league is not" -- that was argument put forward by congress ..Muslim league is a party which restricts its primary membership to muslims only. The brutal majorities that it enjoyed in select constituencies only in the name of religion are a thing of past. The rise of Kunjalikutty as the most detestable politician in kerala coupled with the awakening of educated muslim youth really turned the tables..Perhaps , if u ask me to pick out the most heartening triumph of this election in kerala, it has to be the victory of K.T Jaleel against Kunjalikutty..People have given them a strong message that politicians can no longer rule them just in the name of a religion. However, the loss of Muneer is a bit paining.He's perhaps the minister the last kerala cabinet who performed the most.

2) Karunakaran's antics silenced..
The party floated by him - DIC(K) ( Perhaps the most embarassing name a political party can have ) was wiped out..It just won one single seat among the 17 or 18 it contested. That includes the loss of Muraleedharan in one of the supposedly safest constituencies for Congress in kerala.. People have given Karunakaran a clear message that such ridiculous political somersaults does not go well with the educated and politically aware people in kerala.

3) The fall of Oligarchs
The loss of TM Jacob and R Balakrishnapilla in their hometown constituencies also echoes the message..You have to perform.Otherwise you are out.

A sideline view..
If instead of a useless , non performing A K Antony, Oommen Chandy was made the CM initially itself, things could have been far better. People will retain politicians who perform. People have given the left front and VS Achuthanandan a clear victory...If they show some credibility and courage to rise over the dogmatic ideologies of left that are only of historical value; and lead the most educated state firmly into path of development , the people will reelect them like in Bengal.I doubt if that would happen..But the message is clear

" People in an educated and politically aware society doesnt bother about ideologies..Its performance that matters "



aniSH... said...

"Perhaps , if u ask me to pick out the most heartening triumph of this election in kerala, it has to be the victory of K.T Jaleel against Kunjalikutty"
Agree with you 200%!!

Vinod/Kakka said...

Agree 100% with your analysis of Kerala results, hope LDF and O.C. agrees to it, and sees it the same way.

Doctor Bruno said...

Madam Jayalalitha DISMISSED (not suspensioN) nearly 2 lakh govt employees on a single day