The Arena -

Verdict 2016

CHENNAI, 23/05/2016: Govrenor K. Rosaiah presenting boquet to AIADMK Supremo J. Jayalalithaa after swearing as a Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at Madras University Centenary Auditorium on Monday. Photo: R. Ragu

Tamil Nadu: Loyal Vote Banks Help AIADMK Overcome Anti-incumbency

P. Ramajayam

What helped the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) break free from the weight of incumbency and retain power in Tamil Nadu? P. Ramajayam, Assistant Professor, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli, analyses the electoral dynamics that influenced the results. A coalition of smaller parties dispersed the anti-incumbency vote and deprived the main challenger, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) from reaping the benefits. In addition, he points out, the strategic geographic and caste representation in the outgoing State Cabinet of Ministers in 2016 played a role in the AIADMK's victory.

CHENNAI; TAMILNADU 06/06/2016; Tamil Nadu chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa will visit her constituency, Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) to thank on Monday. Photo: M_PRABHU

TAMIL NADU: Loyal Vote Banks Help AIADMK Overcome Anti-incumbency

P. Ramajayam

Continuing political exclusion against the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) favoured the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) to retain power in Tamil Nadu with a thin lead in the vote share. The anti-incumbency factor was categorically kept on silent mode to check the dominance of DMK in the State’s politics by the smaller parties, which defied allying with it. However, the call to ‘discard Dravidian parties’ and replace them with an ‘alternative’ politics faced heavy credibility deficit, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Special umbrellas carrying election symbols on display at shop in Palakkad, Kerala, on April 19, 2016. File photo: K. K. Mustafah

How the States Polled: Lessons for BJP, INC

K. V. Thomas

Notwithstanding the fact that the BJP/NDA appear to be on a strong wicket in national politics after the elections to five States, these poll results should not be construed as an endorsement to the policies and programmes of the NDA government at the Centre. After all, the verdict in State elections is more often guided by State-specific issues, writes The Hindu Centre's former Public Policy Scholar and retired Intelligence Bureau officer, K.V. Thomas.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KERALA: 25/05./2016: :: Kerala Chief Minister designate Pinarayi Vijayan met the Governor P Sathasivam at Raj Bhavan and submitted the list of Ministers to him, in Thiruvananthapuram..........Photo:S_Mahinsha -

Kerala: A Verdict against Corruption and Degeneration of Values

K. V. Thomas

True to form, voters in Kerala have changed their government. The incumbent United Democratic Front (UDF) led by the Indian National Congress (INC) lost power to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]. However, as The Hindu Centre’s former Public Policy Scholar and retired Intelligence Bureau officer, K.V. Thomas, points out, the gains made by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are a precursor to the changing electoral choices for a State in which bipolar politics has been the norm.

Kolkata: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addresses the media after the party's thumping win in West Bengal Assembly elections, in Kolkata on Thursday. PTI Photo by Swapan Mahapatra (PTI5_19_2016_000092B)

Alliance fails in West Bengal, Hindutva wins Assam for BJP

Subir Bhaumik

The elections to the Legislative Assemblies of West Bengal and Assam presented contrasting results. While in Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (AITC) government retained power with a thumping majority, Assam witnessed the rise of a fresh face, Sarbananda Sonowal, as the head of a coalition government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which ended 15 years of Congress rule. Analysing the results in the two States, journalist and author, Subir Bhaumik, says that in West Bengal, the hurriedly put together alliance between the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Left did not lead to easy transfer of votes, while in Assam, the BJP’s Hindutva politics was able to knit together the Assamese, the Bengalis and the Hindu tribals into a vote bank that delivered them a victory.