Out of 115 million voters in 05 Indian State assemblies, in four States – Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry – the voters voted against corruption. In Assam they had the opportunity, but did not. They voted “Congress”.
In India, assemblies do have their own politics and their own provincial power clans. But the voters do reflect national sentiments as well. This 2011 May assembly elections in particular, after almost 07 years of a Congress controlled centre, showed a sense of middle class chastity. The hugely growing Indian middle class was guilty of voting a corrupt Congress led government for the second time and did not want that at least in assembly elections.
IF the Indian voter was after a “clean” alternative, they had none to choose from. In Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha and her AIADMK is not clean at all. She too carries a bag load of corruption accusations. But the 2G Scam the biggest in Indian history to date unless another is unearthed, larger than 2G, former Telecom minister Raja, son of Karunanidhi in remand for that scam, daughter Kanimozhi questioned and taken to Courts on related charges of corruption and their DMK handing out 16 million TV sets free to the people, but 39,600 million rupees paid by State coffers after the 2006 elections, Jayalalitha looked too small.
The TN people went against the DMK with its Karunanidhi family with the Congress(I) tagged to them, in a single clear voice. That allowed Jayalalitha to walk in comfortably with a promise she would side with the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, giving her a political flavour among the Tamil vote.
Mamata Bannerjee’s fate with her “Trinamool” was no different. She had the good fortune of pitching herself against a long entrenched Left mafia in the State that had developed not only a corrupt system but also a very lumpen bureaucracy, controlled by the Left for over 03 decades. That was definitely too long to bear and the alternative did not matter in getting rid of this old and feeble “Left”. So Mamata walks in with her Trinamool, where the Centre had a lesser appearance.
In Kerala again, it wasn’t the Congress(I) that won the elections. They would, as the UDF form the State government, with only 38 seats in a 140 seat assembly. The Congress(I) ally brought the required balance of 34 seats. Again there were issues of rice and corruption, but the Left veterans were not that bad to be thrown out. So they lost with a possibility of raking in a few seats to be in power, if they wanted to.
Except in Assam, where the possibility of the BJP formed alliance lost on the Muslim vote, to give Congress(I) the State assembly, the overall trend across the assembly elections is seen as “anti corruption” plus local issues.
This in a democracy, accepted as the largest in the world and where the voters still accept criminals as their elected representatives. The present Lok Sabha has around 30% elected representatives carrying criminal charges for crimes ranging from murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and extortions. Obviously, they are followed by others to State assemblies, where 02 contested from jail at this assembly elections and over a 100 more had charges for serious crimes.
This middle class anti corruption crusade would therefore have little depth in a democracy, that more and more becomes procedural and not functional. It would thus be interesting to see how the opinionated social activists would respond to social issues, from tomorrow.
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ON TV OWNERSHIP IN TN
Over the last ten years, the Maran-owned Sun Network has been joined by the Karunanidhi-owned Kalaignar TV and the PMK-owned Makkal TV (which, according to Wikipedia, “telecosts lots of entertainment program on the basis of Pure Tamil and promote the people to speak Tamil and only Tamil, without the mixing other languages words”), making a formidable alliance for DMK coalition propaganda. Jaya TV has been joined by the Vijaykanth-owned Captain TV.
Compiled by Kusal Perera