Saturday, May 21, 2005

J.J wins the by-elections but what does it augur for the general elections next year?

AIADMK under the stewardship of J.Jayalalitha has won the crucial by elections in both Kancheepuram and Gummidipoondi. After the severe drubbing received in the last lok-shaba elections defeats in these by elections would have sent the morale of the party workers to a tailspin. Defeats here would have put paid to all hopes of a turn around before the next year’s assembly elections.

But inspite of all the spin put out by the Secular-Mafia alliance and sympathetic media (about money muscle power) the victory was not surprising because.

1. The seats were traditional strong holds of AIADMK.
2. The incumbents were the kin of the deceased MLA’s and had the sympathy factor working for them
3. Historically By- elections tend to favor ruling party.
4. The minority vote is almost nonexistent in these constituencies.
5. The government has had a few achievements in water management (Veeranam Pojcet), security (Veerapan) and a people friendly budget.
6. Minorities are not a big factor and were placated by the arrest of the Kanchi seer.

However the by-elections were after all by-elections and one could expect the DPA alliance to redouble its efforts to win power in the next years elections. And the factor going in for them would be

1. Anti incumbency
2. Blind backing from minorities
3. Central government support
4. And sheer alliance arithmetic of a seven party alliance versus one party.

What J.J must be counting on must be

1. Support among women
2. Internal squabbles among opposition alliance members
3. Failing health of M.Karunanidhi (no acceptable successor, one son is accused of murder and is in jail and the other has a reputation of being a rowdy during his youth)

Though J.J has won the battle for now, war looms ahead.

Gut feeling J.J is mighty but DPA(7 party alliance) is mightier.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Is it time to decommission Judicial Commissions

The Justice Phukans investigation report raised a lot of hue and cry before it all died down. I am sure that Justice Phukan did not change the conclusion of the report for a trifle such as free holiday. It must have been some thing like “OK I head this commission and I need to make a trip to many places why not mix work with holiday and take my family along in a nice plane, After all I have the power to do so now”, nothing more serious than that. The Tehelka Investigation commission has been jinxed right from the start, when Justice Venkatswami was forced to resign over the scandal raised on his appointement as the chairman of the Authority on Advance Rulings of Excise and Customs on the advice of the then chief justice of India. He resigned both the posts. Now Phukans report has been rejected by the government which is now going to appoint a new CBI investigation. The government may have taken the decisions in good faith albeit they were not good judgement, but their effects on judicial commissions have been profound.

Till now there is no proof that Defense procurement is bested by corruption, after all that is how the whole saga had begun, but surely some politicians (I say “All”) were not above taking money. But that is the job of the police and courts. Instead we now have the entire system of Judicial Investigative commission falling apart.

Any one wants a commission to investigate that?