lok sabha elections
The Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April and the elections for the state assemblies of andhra Pradesh and Orissa provide rich food for thought. Well before the schedule for the elections were announced,there was a controversy. It was precipitated by the chief election commisioner Gopalaswamy submitting a report to thje President of India on the lapses of his colleague, Mr Chawla. the latter is perceived to be in cahoots with the congress . Th timing of the report, selectively leaked, was shrewd. Were the President to endorse the report, Mr gopalaswamy would have continued in office, courtesy an extension of trm, and the electins would have been held indr his helmsmanship. the commission itself had been broadbased, following the aggressive , no holds barred posturing by the then election commissioner TN Seshan. Seshan is history now but the election commission got enlarged during his period and it is a three member club now. in the event Mr Gopalaswamy did not carry the day, all the political parties made common cause, the President exonerated commissioner Chawla of all charges levelled against him and the next day the sparring partners were cheering each other on while announcing the elections schedule.
Proving that bureaucrats are no less talented than politicians where histrionic talent is concerned.
The elections are crucial because India too had its share of rcession and slump in demand. And true to its global village image, Satyam happened. The fraud of the decade took away Rs 40000 crores or more of shareholder money. The unravelling of the mystery goes on and seveal invisible hands are seen to lend their support.
Andhra Pradesh , one of the states going to the polls, was the base of satyam.Ramalinga Raju, the chairman, had cosy relationship with the chief mi nisters of the day, Chandrababu Naidu and still later Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy, the present chief mionister.
the bigger picture is equally hazy. To the duo of alliances at national level, the UPA led by congress who is ruling the country and the NDA led by Bharatiya Janata Party which is in the opposition is now added the third front , the front which catapulted an inconspicuous farmer leader from karnataka ,Mr Devegowda, to the prime minister gadi. his spell was short but his rise to the top post was nothing short of miraculous.
Now Mr Devegowda has taken the initiative to float the third front anew.And Naveen Patnaik of Orissa who was about to forfeit his chief minister post thanks to defections jumped on the new bandwagon.
So did Jayalalithaa , the AIADMK leader from amilnadu and Mayawati, the dalit chief minister of Uttarpradesh.
Though the emergence of the third front, now on, now off, phenomenon has been ridiculed, its damage value cannot be minismised.
In a nation shaken by a series of terror attacks, buffeted by price rise in selected categories which has hurt the vulnerable middle classes most and unemployment rising like a spectre , and the spillover effects of US economy cascading down to some pockets of urban enterprise, none is sure how the wind shall blow. Gen n is up and about and they are in no mood for compromises.So do the greying population, rated as quite high.
will there be a paradigm shift in voting preferences ? will elections 2009 make a major difference?
As things stand, the dithering continues even over candidates' selection.Generational justice and gender justice ----- these will play a decisive role in determining the political parties' performance. the time for reckoning is not yet.
Tags: Elections , Lok Sabha , Alliance , Shift
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