Welcome to manic side of latest assembly polls
Times of india Editorial, May 21, 2016
(Note: Lotus bloomed in Assam, it is women power in West Bengal and Tamilnadu. Let nonagenarians Karunanidhi and Achudanan retire.God’s own country Kerala has gone red with an upstart 72-year-old kid Pynarai to lead it. Bachelorhood is power in India’s polity — Modi, Mamata, Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik – only it doesn’t mesh with Rahul. What is the short cut to Congress-mukth India? Just get rid of Sonia-Rahul duo. To get rid of all old guys bend with age, who won’t retire, imitate the BJP and set up a Marg Darshak Department, in all parties. In BJP is is led by as L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. In TN it could be led by Karunanithi and in Kerala Achudananan and Gauriamma could lead it. james kottoor, editor)
With the results out in the latest round of assembly elections, it’s time for political parties to take stock. BJP is feeling on top of the world not so much for its emphatic victory in Assam as for the downfall of the party it loves to hate: Congress. However, it appears that the lotus bloomed in Assam because people there were getting tired of Tarun Gogoi jokes. Gogoi had delivered Assam to Congress three times in a row. A fourth time may have been too much even for the good-natured Assamese.
Meanwhile, who says politics is a man’s game? Bengal’s very own Didi showed that Mamata may be her name but that’s certainly not how she treats her political opponents. After sweeping Kolkata’s streets clean she has now swept the opposition clean at the hustings. Down south, Jayalalithaa did the improbable and broke the 32-year-old jinx of rotating political victories in Tamil Nadu. So, there will be many more idlis to go round from Amma’s canteen. It also means Karunanidhi’s cool shades are going out of fashion – at 91, perhaps the DMK patriarch should give them a rest. He’s not young any more.
In neighbouring Kerala, though, another nonagenarian is still very much in vogue. Achuthanandan may have a problem with Amul babies but the latter were still queuing up to take selfies with CPM’s star campaigner. However, it now appears that Achuthanandan won’t return as chief minister of God’s own country – that honour has been extended to intra-party nemesis Pinarayi Vijayan. Achuthanandan will surely feel betrayed by his party for throwing its weight behind a young and upstart 72-year-old kid on the block.
But while Kerala turns Red, Congress is certainly feeling blue. Notwithstanding a booster shot in Bihar last year, the party finds itself in a deeper hole today. Instead of the big cheese that it was, it now plays the role of a seamstress stitching together radical alliances. After the Lalu-Nitish experiment, it decided to shake hands with one-time-enemy and Kerala rival, the Left, in Bengal. But the threads simply couldn’t be woven into a winning combo.
So is BJP’s dream of a Congress mukt Bharat already with us? Put the same question another way, is a Gandhi-mukt Congress simply impossible? Calls for Rahul Gandhi to go on another vacation – this time a longer, even permanently extended one – are once again ringing out.
It seems bachelorhood is power in India’s polity – look at the success of Modi, Mamata, Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik. You need to be married to politics to be in this business. But the bachelor party gets pooped when applied to Rahul Gandhi.
Perhaps Congress needs to take a leaf out of BJP’s book and come up with its own Marg Darshak Mandal. Both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi could occupy pride of place there – just as superannuated leaders such as L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been elevated to BJP’s Marg Darshak Mandal, where they can sing bhajans to the party’s past glory