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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Indian Elections, Patiala, Pudukkottai and Jayalalithaa campaign in OMR

Patiala in Punjab is the fourth largest city in the state and is the administrative capital of Patiala district. Patiala is located around the Qila Mubarak (the Fortunate Castle). It was constructed by militiamen Sardar Lakhna and Baba Ala Singh in 1763. In popular culture, the city remains famous for its traditional turban(a type of headgear), paranda (a tasselled tag for braiding hair), patiala salwar (a type of female trousers), jutti (a type of footwear) and Patiala peg (a measure of liquor).

Not sure how much of IPL you are following ~ as usual it started with Ravi Shastri shouting ~ Sunil Gavaskar is at the helm on Court orders and is not on mike…. While Sherry continues to add flavour – as he has more time since not contesting elections.  Sidhuisms are treat …. Once he said … “Its very difficult to kill a man who is hell bent upon committing suicide!” ~  "When you are dining with the demon you've got to have a long spoon!"; “The cat with gloves catches no mice.”

Day before when I returned late in the night from Bramothsava purappadu, the match was interestingly poised.  My son described of the whirlwind knock by Glenn Maxwell who executed so many reverse sweeps and hits …. Still chasing 192 looked improbable ~ David Miller made it look so simple hitting 27 runs in that 18th over of Dhawal Kulkarni as  Kings XI Punjab hammered Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets.  Yesterday, CSK helped by Raina’s fine half-ton posted 177-7 in 20 overs ….that six of Dhoni was only 88M but appeared to be disappearing in the horizon … DDR put up no fight folding at  84 all out in 15.4 overs.  

Navjot Singh Sidhu was born in Patiala but represented Amritsar constituency….. electioneering has changed ~ in earlier days, there used to cycle rallies – the candidate would often come in open vans  - with auto blaring theme songs and praising the qualities of the candidate (speaking from an auto – introducing the candidate is an art …… any experience !!!! – I have my share !!!!)

Yesterday, OMR was more colourful though people had difficulty in returning home….. reason – TN  Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wound up her campaign,  beginning at Kandhanchavadi on the IT Corridor, and concluding in the heart of the city at T. Nagar. During the stops en route, she went all out against her political rivals, DMK and Congress, and took head on, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.  Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Human Development Index served as a crystal-clear mirror to a State’s growth and development, and growth was inclusive only if it reached the poor, downtrodden and oppressed sections of the society. There was a difference between “true growth” and “growth through publicity”, she said. She accused the DMK of betraying the fishermen and resolved that she would never do that. “The DMK was a part of the government at the Centre for nearly 17 years, but have they done anything for the State?” she asked rhetorically. “Nothing! He only took care of the welfare of his own family.” Ms. Jayalalithaa also lashed out at Mr. Karunanidhi, accusing him of sacrificing the interest of the nation. That was a whirlwind tour….

Miles away, one of the most respected politicians in Punjab’s political landscape, Preneet Kaur, the Maharani of the erstwhile princely state of Patiala from which this Lok Sabha seat derives its name, is locked in a unique electoral battle — she faces a challenge from her protégé, Deepinder Singh Dhillon, who joined the Shiromani Akali Dal after being denied ticket by the Congress in the 2012 Assembly elections, which he contested as an independent. While Ms. Kaur, who became Union Minister of State for External Affairs in UPA-II, has won the seat three times in row since 1999, her husband Captain Amarinder Singh, the former Chief Minister, and his mother Mohinder Kaur, now fondly referred to as the Rajmata, represented Patiala in 1980 and 1967 respectively. The present contest has become more interesting after Capt. Singh was fielded from Amritsar to take on the BJP’s Arun Jaitley. 

Today’s Hindu features an interesting article titled ‘Is India about to elect its Reagan?’ …… where the author  sees several commonalities between Gujarat’s Chief Minister and America’s 40th President Ronald Reagan. Both Mr. Modi and Mr. Reagan rose from humble origins. Both were popular and successful State leaders: Reagan was “chief minister” (governor, as we say) of  home state of California. Mr. Modi, like Mr. Reagan, is an unabashed proponent of free market economics: the term “Modinomics” is of course a nod to “Reaganomics.”

Now there are not much representation from the erstwhile rulers, the present day dynasties are all clan of politicians – you see so many candidates getting tickets because their father was a leader.  In  2012  by-election to Pudukkottai Assembly constituency the descendant of the Thondaiman dynasty that ruled the erstwhile princely state of Pudukkottai – Karthik Thondaiman won.  Now kings do not have much say in elections …

Do you know the candidates in your constituency… in TN election is on 24th Apr 2014 ~ it is our duty to vote – vote with conscience and vote without fail.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Apr 2014.

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