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India Votes, Final Phase

May 12, 2009

Chennai has three constituencies based in the metro, Chennai North, Chennai South and Chennai Central. With about 10 lakh voters  in each of these constituencies, it would be interesting to see if Chennai will repeat what Mumbai did. The people of Mumbai had to go through the terror attacks not too long ago, and the Media cashed in on it to the fullest. They came together for candlelight processions, got their Chief Minister to resign, got Bollywood’s icons to come out with passionate statements and even had the whole world talking about the city. And after the celebrities urged people to vote, some even backing political parties, just over 40% of the Mumbaikars took part in the elections!

Tamil Nadu feels very strongly about the Sri Lankan issue. Some even take it a lot more seriously than Sri Lankans themselves would. Many Tamilians claim to be Tamilians first and Indians second. Maybe that is the reason why the campaigning for the elections this time around has witnessed no hubbub. Except maybe for the past three days or so. The country’s PM, and the Congress Head were both in the city recently. Karunanidhi decided to stay in the hospital till when Manmohan Singh came to visit(a very nice pose in the newspapers, of course, with not an intravenous saline sticking into his hand, but a sphygmomanometer, a BP apparatus, on instead, to make him look more sickly to the uneducated and ingorant masses). The very next day, he was sharing the stage with Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, at a rally.

Even ADMK and its allies seem to have come to life only over the past few days. With Jayalalitha making statements regarding the Sri Lankan issue on a regular basis(and promising that she would invade Sri Lanka to make a separate Tamil state there if the people  of TN won her all 40 seats that there are), it is obvious that the election drive is on. But somehow, I don’t find the intensity that there should be. The assembly elections were a lot more charged. One could see campaigns at the beaches on a daily basis for at least a couple of weeks, before the elections. Something that is missing completely this time.

We also have some rather interesting independents this time. We had a small party of educated young men last time(during the assembly elections), a party called Lok Paritran. They split soon after the elections. This time around, the posterboy of the Media seems to be an independent called Sarath Babu. An entrepreneur educated in BITS, Pilani and IIM, Ahmedabad, Sarath Babu is now the owner of “Food King catering.” His seems like an ideal story of rags-to-riches. However, there is reason enough to believe that his intentions are not to win these elections but to capture the attention of the middle and upper classes of the society. Why? His business has never done better that it did before his filed his nomination papers. It may come as a surprise to few that he started his campaign 10 days before the last date for filing nominations. I have seen quite a few people supporting him- all young, with some money in their pockets, speaking highly of his educational qualification. Little do they know that their “chosen one” is not interested in winning the seat of South Chennai, as much as he wants to mint money with the popularity that he has now gained.

The Congress is backing the DMK in Tamil Nadu and most of its campaigning has been done through Television and Radio advertisements. It gets kind of annoying when you have to listen to the same ad about 10 times during a 30 minutes drive in your car. I hope that works against them.

The BJP has made not much as  much of an effort in Chennai as the rest of the parties have, but it did show some interest. An event was organised by the Friends of BJP on the 2nd of May. Arun Shourie and Venkaiyah Naidu were the speakers addressing a rather small crowd in an air-conditioned auditorium. Though the gathering was not too big, the event was amazing, to say the least. L. K. Advani was in town too a few days ago for an open rally. His style, this time around. It was obvious from the rally that the man could draw crowds without paying a single person a few currency notes for having attended his rally. Something that not one other party in TN can manage. Modi was supposed to visit Chennai too, but he decided to go to Coimbatore instead, as there were four seats at stake there, as against the two in Chennai which the BJP was contesting for.

After all the noise about Sri Lanka, the fast to death between breakfast and lunch, admissions to the hospital and the exchange of bitter words with the leader of the opposition, it will be interesting to see if Karunanidhi can handle the hatred that the best part of the Tamil population how has for him. Captain Vijaykanth might have a decent showing, but he might be more interested in the assembly elections, just like all other leaders in the state. It will all be out in the open on the 16th when the results are declared.

Here is the list of constituencies which come under the fifth and the final phase of polling:

H. PRADESH                   4

PUNJAB                            9

TAMILNADU                 39

UTTAR PRADESH      14

WEST BENGAL             11

J&K                                      2

UTTARAKHAND         5

CHANDIGARH              1

PONDICHERRY            1

TOTAL SEATS        86

Let us all wait and watch how things go. But before we do the “watching” we all need to make a beeline for the polling booths and cast our votes. Because THAT is what will decide the outcome of Indian Elections 2009. And that, in turn, will decide the fate of our nation for the next five years to come; and maybe a lot many more.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2009 6:24 PM

    First off, TN has never had great turnouts for national elections. Like I said, the state doesn’t care about the country. During assembly elections, we usually get about 70%, which is probably the highest in the nation. National elections are usually at about 50%. So don’t be surprised if we are lower than Mumbai this time.

    And this time around, Srilanka is the only issue at hand. Sonia Gandhi made an open statement a few days back saying she will continue to provide weapons until Prabhakaran is either killed or captured. This she does to avenge her husband’s death. For a personal matter, she has put the lives of millions in danger. And at the same time she had the audacity to come to the Island grounds and say that the Congress is working hard to provide equal rights for Tamils.
    Jayalalithaa on the other hand, during a press meet, told journalists to stop using the word Eelam as no such place exists. Now she says she will make Eelam dreams possible.

    DMK and Congress are having loads of problems now. What with Rahul Gandhi saying he would be prepared to ally with like-minded parties like ADMK after the elections, and Karunanidhi calling Prabhakaran his friend. They’re gritting their teeth and pulling on somehow.

    I’m not in Chennai presently to observe from close quarters, but the ADMK campaign seems pretty good. What with Amma dumping her old style of campaigning by road and helicopter hopping this time. And they have PMK this time, which has been a lucky charm to every party they allied with so far.

    Sarath Babu- well you hit the nail on the head.

    BJP- If they make an opening this time, even one seat, it’s more than enough to pat themselves on their backs.

    Vijaykanth is making some really smart moves this time around. I actually see a future CM in him.

    And post election, if you don’t mind, here’s my analysis:
    Like Venkaiah Naidu said “TRS took VRS from third front.” They were the first to back out of that parking lot. After the elections, the third will tumble like a pack of cards. Amma can’t join congress cos of DMK, and she hasn’t said a single word against BJP so far, though she has loads to say against Congress. TDP can’t join Congress cos of Congress. These two, Vaiko, PMK will join the NDA probably. Naveen Patnaik is staunch anti-congress, and anyway he only had a seat sharing problem with BJP so BJD will mostly join them as well. The left has already given hope of joining Congress, Laloo had the same problem as BJD only with the Congress. Mayawati won’t join anyone mostly. Vijaykanth is the hardest to predict.

    • Adi permalink*
      May 13, 2009 1:29 AM

      “So don’t be surprised if we are lower than Mumbai this time.”

      I am hoping that you are wrong there. The fate of our country lies in our hands. We can’t have people being so complacent about it!

      “at the same time she had the audacity to come to the Island grounds and say that the Congress is working hard to provide equal rights for Tamils.”

      That is the Congress’ politics for you! They will do ANYTHING to stay in power. And they know that they are on the verge of losing it now.

      “but the ADMK campaign seems pretty good. What with Amma dumping her old style of campaigning by road and helicopter hopping this time. And they have PMK this time, which has been a lucky charm to every party they allied with so far.”

      You will see Amma’s true style of campaigning during the assembly elections. They are not all that bothered about this one now. They only want some good ministries at the centre. Considering the fact that the CM’s chair is not at stake, the energy of the campaign is considerably low this time.

      “Sarath Babu- well you hit the nail on the head.”

      No point talking about the guy. I just hope he loses miserably.

      “If they make an opening this time, even one seat, it’s more than enough to pat themselves on their backs.”

      I hope they manage several pats on their backs. I know that that is hoping for a bit too much, but well, no harm in hoping/praying, right?

      “Vijaykanth is making some really smart moves this time around. I actually see a future CM in him.”

      That only time will tell. Let us see how things go in these elections first.

      Your post-poll predictions seem pretty much along the same lines as what I expect. Will have to just wait and watch how things go. But before that, I need to go cast my vote as early in the morning as I can. As L. K. Advani said, “Brush your teeth and head to the polling booths. You can have your tea/coffee once you are done casting your vote.”

  2. May 12, 2009 10:42 PM

    My doubts are rising high… Is this a group blog.. You and ani?
    Anyway, TN parliamentary elections itself are a joke. Many people don’t care and those who care don’t vote. People who were benefited by the ruling party try to keep their present alliance in the center in power, but unfortunately the ruling party wouldn’t have ‘plucked a single hair’ (Translate and understand, even mallu would do) and lose power. This is the common trait in both center and state elections ever since.
    This time around, there has been some heat in the corner. With people like Seeman, Bharathiraja, etc. campaigning for a change of mindset (You missed it!) and Karunanidhi totally out of focus trying out Kamarajar style gimmicks is a totally weird epi; Jaya’s stunning campaign in the coupe of weeks and Vijayakanth’s steady rise get the meso and the endo of it lies in the last minute where Tamilians lose their minds between two fingers and five fingers in a single finger in which there is ink which has to be on the face.

    Flame alert: BTW, I am really pissed with this BITS-P+IIM wallah who tries to show him off as Ayudha Ezuthu Surya. What annoys me more is the fact that there are these dumb youths who still think “ejukedad yangu peepul vil make ya revalusan”. Someone give them a dictionary to check spellings, pronunciations and most importantly meanings. Bull!

    P.S: Courtesy Adi (I take the freedom to backspace Anna) for giving me some post to blog. I translated my comment in the last post for mine.

    • Adi permalink*
      May 13, 2009 1:55 AM

      Hahaha! Nope! Not a group blog. I do get inputs from Ani, though. Just like how he uses a few inputs that he gets from me. However, when it comes to politics, Ani does more homework, than I do, I guess. Problem is, he has exams coming up in three days while I don’t. 😛 That is also the reason why he does not blog now.

      “TN parliamentary elections itself are a joke. Many people don’t care and those who care don’t vote.”

      Sad, yet true. The few who do care and do vote usually end up causing no major difference as most of the people voting(the masses) have been bribed to vote by some party or the other. Oh! Talking of which, my mom just got to town a few hours ago from Pondicherry to cast her vote tomorrow. She got to know the prices of votes there. It varies from area to area, apparently. It is as low as 100 Rupees in some areas while other areas are lucky enough to get 1000 Rupees a vote. Disgusting, yet true. And people actually compare and complain there! That is how stupid politics is here!

      “People who were benefited by the ruling party try to keep their present alliance in the center in power, but unfortunately the ruling party wouldn’t have ‘plucked a single hair’ (Translate and understand, even mallu would do) and lose power. This is the common trait in both center and state elections ever since.”

      True again. You said it all 😀 Nothing to be added.

      “With people like Seeman, Bharathiraja, etc. campaigning for a change of mindset (You missed it!)”

      My bad. But in my defence, I did not find it necessary to add such things here as I don’t think naming Seeman or Bharathiraja in my blog is going to change anyone’s attitude. 😛 A good move, nevertheless, but my blog would not be the right platform to talk about their actions. I do enough such talk myself. 😛

      “Karunanidhi totally out of focus trying out Kamarajar style gimmicks is a totally weird epi;”

      Don’t even get me started on it! The other day I was at the beach with a guy from the Friends of BJP. His dad called him and asked him to get back home immediately because there were rumours that the old man was really serious int he hospital and might breathe his last there. In my eagerness to get some good news, I called a contact in Apollo who was treating the old man. I ended up getting rotten information. He said that the dickhead was actually much better and had in fact just given an interview to the press. I went from zenith to nadir in about 10 seconds!

      “Vijayakanth’s steady rise get the meso and the endo of it lies in the last minute where Tamilians lose their minds between two fingers and five fingers in a single finger in which there is ink which has to be on the face.”

      Hahahaha! Ink which has to be on the face? Indeed!

      “I am really pissed with this BITS-P+IIM wallah who tries to show him off as Ayudha Ezuthu Surya. What annoys me more is the fact that there are these dumb youths who still think “ejukedad yangu peepul vil make ya revalusan”. Someone give them a dictionary to check spellings, pronunciations and most importantly meanings. Bull!”

      I can’t agree with you more there. People are SO blinded by his educational qualifications to see the obvious. Educated people CAN cause a revolution, but surely not in this way. The person should want to do some good to the society that he represents. NOT try and milk the society for all it is worth!

      You can call me Adi. Drop the Anna. Even my 7 year old cousin does not call me Anna. You sure don’t. Anyway, you got something to post in your blog from the stuff here? Nice! Glad to have been of some small assistance. Ani checked out your blog and told me that you even made a reference to my blog. Thanks a lot for that. 🙂 Like I said, my Tamizh reading skills are worse than Ani’s. So I trusted him with that bit. 😛 He mentioned that stuff from the comments here were used. Glad that you got the content for an entire post after commenting here. Oh! And glad to hear about your take on Modi and the BJP as well. I don’t remember seeing this attitude when Ani used to write on politics. Whatever it is that caused the change, I am really glad that it did it. Nice stuff! 🙂

  3. May 13, 2009 12:06 AM

    err..i don’t really understand what you are trying to say!
    Very confusing and unclear.

    • Adi permalink*
      May 13, 2009 1:31 AM

      Confusing an unclear? Which part? Anyway, I am talking about the election(fifth phase) which is to occur during the day today. Mentioned stuff which I noticed myself, and others that I read about. Chennai South constituency, primarily. You might need to read a couple of my older posts on politics in order to follow exactly what I am saying. Sorry about that. I was pretty keen on keeping my post short and so did not elaborate much.

  4. nithya permalink
    May 13, 2009 7:21 AM

    today. hindu says “h d kumaraswamy former CM of karnatakammet sonia gandhi on tuesday evening.he drove into her residence with his face covered and left by a different exit.” all the Third Front parties are waiting to join congress after the poll. if it is needed congress will try to take support of both DMK and AIADMK all the third front parties are waiting for the election results to be out.so that they can cash in on opportunity. bringing Independendants also will only give opportunity for trading. let us vote for a national party and give a clear mandate and give no chance to the parties to do trading and earn money. we need to bring a change and BJP is the right alternative.

  5. manoj1987 permalink
    November 16, 2009 12:01 PM

    I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent!

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