Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sankaran Kovil By-elections - landslide victory for AIADMK


  
India is a constitutional democracy with a parliamentary system of government, and at the heart of the system is a commitment to hold regular, free and fair elections. These elections determine the composition of the government, the membership of the two houses of parliament, the state and union territory legislative assemblies, and the Presidency and vice-presidency.

The Train Pothigai Express is a daily service that runs from Chennai Egmore to Shencottah via Tenkasi.  After passing Madurai, Virudunagar, Sivakasi, Sri Villiputhur, Rajapalayam, it halts for a minute at this place which garnered the political attraction of the State.

Indian Electoral Process is so well defined but it is time the Nation debated on the need for or regulating by-elections. Recently, Jordan requested  Election Commission of India for assistance in election management and electoral reforms. The request was made by Jordanian Prime Minister, H.E.  Mr. Awn Khasawneh to the visiting Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi at their meeting in Amman.   It is true that every constituency needs to be represented to ensure reasonable benefits for that place – but can we not think of some regulations – may be some of the following :
a)     that if the remaining tenure is short (say less than a year) – no by-elections would be held
b)     if the State Assembly or Lok Sabha is well balanced and if the particular segment is unlikely to alter the composition of ruling Govt – then there would be no elections but a person nominated by the party which was elected from that particular constituency would continue  or
c)      the no. of votes polled and the party elected in any constituency will continue to be elected by the same party till the next general elections

something urgent needs to be thought of – for many a times, the by-elections are hyped beyond and most times, it is the ruling party that gets returned to power.  The principal opposition party in Tamilnadu, spoke of the by-election being the yardstick on which people weigh the performance of the Ruler – as if people of that constituency alone are the deciders and then hours after the election recounted the earlier defeats suffered by the ruling party when they reigned and spoke of money flow as the prime reason for their defeat !

Yesterday, the counting and results of the by-election of Sankarankovil were announced.   The ruling The AIADMK  scored a massive victory belying the Opposition expectations of making a dent in the ruling party’s vote share, over the twin issues of power shortage and Kudankulam crisis in Tamil Nadu.  AIADMK, going solo this time, convincingly retained the seat, reserved for Dalits, with its woman nominee S Muthuselvi trouncing her nearest DMK rival by a big margin of over 68,000 votes. It is over six times larger than AIADMK’s victory margin in the 2011 Assembly polls.  The AIADMK candidate polled 94,977 votes against the DMK’s  Jawahar Surya Kumar’s 26,220 votes. Congress backed the DMK candidate.  MDMK led by Vaiko, which boycotted the last year’s Assembly polls after its seat-sharing talks with AIADMK broke down, partly retrieved its lost ground by finishing third with its nominee T Sadan Thirumalaikumar polled 20,678 votes, pushing actor Vijayakant-led DMDK’s nominee K Muthukumar, to a miserable fourth slot with just 12,144 votes.  All the opposition candidates lost their deposits.

In an election, a defeated candidate who fails to secure more than one sixth of the valid votes polled in the constituency will lose his security deposit !!

Sankarankovil is home to the famous Sankara Narayanan temple. It is situated at Tirunelveli District and 56 km away from Thirunelveli City. Sankarankovil is the second largest town in the district. It is very famous for "Adi Thabasu" festival. In older times, the city was called as Sankaranayinar kovil.  It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar to mark his devotees to understand that both Hari and Shiva are one and the same. It was built by Ukira Pandiyan AC 900.It houses the deity by the name Sankara Narayanan, which is half - Lord Shiva and the other half - Lord Vishnu.  The deities of this temple are Sri Sankareswarar, Sri Gomathi Amman and Sri Sankara Narayanar.  Believers have it that the holy puthumann (sand of anthill) is capable of curing diseases. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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