Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

DMK candidate list

Courtesy Hindu

Late on Sunday, the DMK announced its candidate list. As expected, the Chief Minister’s son Azhagiri has been announced as the candidate for the Madurai Lok Sabha seat. The party has dropped 7 sitting MPs and a few of the candidates like TR Balu and Raja have changed their seats following delimitation. Two actors (Napolean and Ritheesh) have featured in the list. According to the Hindu,

The list of DMK candidates for the 21 constituencies, released by Mr. Karunanidhi on Sunday, has 12 new faces including two film actors, D.Napoleon (former MLA) and J.K.Ritheesh and two women. Seven sitting MPs, including four Union Ministers — Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, K.Venkatapathy, S. Regupathy and Radhika Selvi — do not find a place in the list. Mr Karunanidhi told reporters that the sitting MPs have opted out to pave way for the new faces. He said he would launch the campaign in Chennai on April 18.

1.Kanyakumai –Helen Davidson
2.Tuticorin –S R Jeyadurai
3.Ramanathapuram –K Sivakumar (a) JK Ritheesh
4.Madurai –M K Azhagiri
5.Tanjavur –SS Palanimackam
6.Nagapattinam (res) –AKS Vijayan
7.Perambalur –D Napolean
8.Karur –K C Palanisamy
9.Pollachi –M Shanmugasundaram
10.Nilgiris (res) –A Raja
11.Namakkal –S Gandhiselvan
12.Kallakurichi –Adi Shankar
13.Tiruvannamalai –T Venugopal
14.Dharmapuri –Thamaraichelvan
15.Krishnagiri –EG Sukavanam
16.Arakonam –S Jegathratchagan
17.Sriperumbudur –T R Baalu
18.Tiruvallore (res) –Gayathri Sridharan
19.North Chennai –TKS Elangovan
20.Central Chennai –Dayanidhi Maran
21.South Chennai –R S Barathy.


TN ’09 Alliances

Alliances have always played an important part in Tamil Nadu elections. The two Dravidian parties are dependent on alliances to remain dominant. This time, the DMK has allied itself with Congress, VCK and IUML. The Left parties, MDMK and PMK have moved over to the ADMK front. Vijaykanth’s DMDK is contesting alone as it did in the last assembly elections and BJP and other smaller parties are contesting separately.

The ADMK is banking on the strong anti-incumbancy that is present in Tamil Nadu to capture a large share of seats. Moreover, PMK and Left parties have added to ADMK front’s strength. The DMK front has already completed their seat sharing agreement. However, the ADMK is still facing some issues with its seat adjustments with CPM and MDMK.

After initial speculation that Vijaykanth was going to align with the UPA, he decided to go it alone. While, the Lok Sabha elections may not be a huge deal for DMDK, its performance is going to be closely watched to see if it can retain or even increase its share from the Assembly elections of ’06. Given that Tamil Nadu elections always throws up a decisive mandate, it will be an interesting election to follow.

Lok Sabha Election ’09

Well there is nothing more interesting in Tamil Nadu than the elections. The campaign for the next Lok Sabha elections is ready to start. Given the tremedous support this blog received for covering the previous assembly elections, I decided to blog again covering elections 2009. While, I plan to cover elections in other states as well, the Tamil Nadu campaign will receive the most prominent coverage. Given Tamil Nadu’s verdict played an important part in the government formation last time, I would expect it to be no different this time around as well. With the alliance partners and seat sharing almost finalized for the two major dravidan parties, campaign is all set to start. Stay tuned for coverage of elections ’09.

Tamil Nadu – Kerala war of words on Mullaperiyar issue

The Mullaperiyar dam issue has created a serious rift between the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. At the heart of the problem is the issue about raising the height of the dam from 136 ft to 141 ft. The Supreme Court of India has given the go ahead earlier this year to raise the height of the dam. But the government of Kerala has tried to hinder this move by raising the issue of the safety of the people in the adjoining area due to this increased dam height. Making matters worse, the Kerala government tried to ascertain the safety of the dam with the help of naval divers. The Tamil Nadu government has taken a strong exception to this unilateral move by the Kerala government and has threatened to boycott all talks.

Given that the Supreme Court of India has given a go ahead taking all issues into consideration, this delaying tactic by the Kerala government is frankly appalling. Frankly talks in New Delhi are going to be pointless as both Chief Ministers are going to hold to their respective positions. The only way to settle this dispute is to let the Supreme Court to decide.

Kalanithi Maran in Forbes list

Financial Magazine Forbes which ranks world richest people came out with a list of top 20 richest Indians. There were 2 people from Tamil Nadu in the list. Shiv Nadar of HCL is at 14th place, while Kalanithi Maran is at 20th place. According to Forbes,

Politician’s son dabbled in family’s modest publishing business before launching Sun TV when India’s satellite television market opened up in the 1990s. Sun now owns 14 channels, 4 radio stations, newspapers and magazines. Group’s April listing made Maran, who owns 90%, a billionaire. Brother Dayanidhi minister for communications and IT.

Surely with this kind of wealth politics in Tamil Nadu can’t be equal. Money plays a very important role in politics and it now looks like one side has a monumental advantage. While, Kalanithi Maran would have preferred not having this distinction, the fact that SunTV is a public company since its IPO earlier this year, he has no option but to live with this distinction.

Most Popular Tamilians

CNN-IBN conducted a poll as part of its Golden South special series and found out that Abdul Kalam was the most popular Tamilian. 32% of the respondents favored President Kalam. Others in the list included Rajnikanth at 2nd with 24%, and Dravidian movement founder EVK Periyar finished 3rd with 21%. Others in the list included music director Ilayaraja with 12%, MS Subalakshmi with 9.5% and chess player Anand with 1.9%.

From the results, it looks like CNN-IBN picked an elitist crowd for the survey. Except perhaps Periyar no politician is in the list. Popular figures like Kamaraj, MGR, and M Karunanidhi don’t figure in the list. The video and article for this survey are available on CNN-IBN’s website. What your opinion regarding the list? Do you concur with my views?

Sarath Kumar launching a new party?

Kaps from Sambhar Mafia pointed to a news article which speculates that Sarath Kumar is planing to float his own party. Sarath Kumar seems to be following in the foot steps of Vijaykanth by using his fan clubs across the state. According to the article, Sarath Kumar has apparently called for a discussion of his fan club members next week in Chennai to discuss his next course of action.

It looks like Sarath Kumar is trying to obtain the support of the Nadar community (to which he belongs) so consolidate his support. Sources point out that Sarath Kumar is holding discussions with influencial members of the Nadar community to obtain support for his new political formation. The question remains to be seen if Sarath Kumar will be able to carve out a niche for him in Tamil Nadu politics. Given his experience with the two Dravidian parties, it looks like Sarath Kumar is using this as his final step to remain ‘politically relevant’.

RIP: Kalimuthu

Former Speaker of the Tamil Nadu assembly K Kalimuthu passed away yesterday due to a heart attack. Kalimuthu, who was 64, was survived by four sons, and five daughters. He was admitted to Apollo Hospital 10 days ago for heart ailments. He has not been in good health for the past year or so, and had to be removed from the ADMK’s list of candidates for the last assembly election. Kalimuthu has been seen by many as the #2 in the ADMK after Jayalalitha and his demise should come as a serious jolt to the party.

Jayalalitha’s and Karunanidhi’s reaction to Kalimuthu’s death,

“Kalimuthu was in the forefront in fighting for the interests of the party and worked for the development of the Tamil language till his last breath.” – Jayalalitha

“He was a good friend, a good writer and orator,” – Karunanidhi

Sarath Kumar quits ADMK

Close on the heels of his wife’s expulsion from the ADMK, Sarath Kumar quit the party stating that he wanted to devote more time to his acting career as well as the President of South India Artist Association. This move should come as no surprise since Sarath Kumar hasn’t been given any post since joining the ADMK, and moreover his wife’s expulsion should have come as a shock to him. Sarath Kumar however gave no hints about his future course of action. Many people expect him to either float a new party or join hands with Vijaykanth.

Sarath Kumar’s press release,

“I will continue to concentrate on my profession to achieve greater heights and work for the welfare of not only my industry but for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu and society in general,”

DMK-PMK rift?

Ever since they joined hands before the previous Lok Sabha election, DMK-PMK alliance was proceeding without much problems. That was until the recent local body elections. Although the alliance routed the ADMK-MDMK combine, the two parties are engaged in a war of words because of cross-voting that has taken place at the local level. As a result, some of PMK’s official candidates have lost inspite of the alliance having a majority. This left PMK’s President Ramadoss fuming calling on TN Chief Minister Karunanidhi to maintain coalition dharma.

Today, Karunanidhi responded to the Ramadoss’ allegations. In a press release, Karunanidhi said that the DMK was also a victim of cross voting which has resulted in its official candidates loosing in some places like Kancheepuram. Although avoiding to pin point PMK as the sole cause for the incident, Karunanidhi said he didn’t want to blame PMK’s leadership for the defeat. However, he sought to pacify Ramadoss by claiming that the DMK’s leadership has already initiated disciplinary action against 3 MLAs as well as brought disciplinary proceedings against more than 18 DMK members.

But PMK leader Ramadoss doesn’t have any other option but to sulk and keep quite (since he and Jayalalitha aren’t in the best of terms). Another ally of the DMK, the CPM is also not happy with the DMK leadership. It’s leaders openly blame DMK for some of its candidates to lose in places like Nagercoil. Karunanidhi should try to satisfy his coalition partners or otherwise it might lead to realignments.