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State Assembly Elections : The new women CMs




The recent state elections threw in two women CM with decisive mandate – Ms. Mamata Bannerjee and Ms. Jayalalitha. A mandate that is absolute and conclusive and has the people’s will and of course expectation. The CMs have hit the road in style. Their performance in the next five years remains to be seen. Looking forward to it. At least the start looks very promising with focus on good governance from both women CMs.
This election has been a historic assembly election in West Bengal. People are going to remember this election for long long time. Mamata Banerjee pulled off a landslide victory for the All India Trinamul Congress in West Bengal by defeating the world’s longest-serving democratically-elected communist government, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government, bringing to an end 34 years of Left Front rule in the state. The decades of left rule finally crushed to defeat. The 34+ years of communist rule coming to an end with a ultimate knock out. The Left Government facing the election without its sole mate Jyoti Baasu could not garner support for its policies and governance this time. With communist also losing a close election in Kerala where they lost the majority by a whisker is salt in wounds for the grand old labor party in India. It is time to go back to the table and re-think its policies and more importantly examine why its hand on the people for decades is slowing drifting out. The new India with a booming middle class, needs a refined socialist agenda and not the ones that are currently being pursued which are in some honest opinion little obsolete. The party has to redefine its agenda and bring in revolutionary changes to motivate its followers, particularly the youth.

The state is seeing a non-left CM for the very first time after a long haul. The youth in the state are getting used to this new phenomenon for the first time in their life. There were jubilation after the electoral victory in the streets of kolkata, and a new sense of life. Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as the Chief Minister with a huge gathering of well wishers and supporters. The dynamic leader walk to the writers building, a 0.5 km walk was unprecedented. With People flocking to see the walking CM, a non-left CM in the state of West Bengal in more than three decades was a mesmerizing visual. On the first week at job, the CM made surprise visits to the government hospitals, government offices causing a stir among officials. With the CM still going around in her black Santro, atleast the hard-working didi of WB is determined to change the ways stuffs happen in the state. With more power comes more responsibilities. It is a chance for the regional leader to create a image for herself with good governance. After the Singur episode, Mamata’a image as “development’ oriented politician took a beating. Now those things are behind her. Rapid industrialization of the state and hence job creation is a necessity for the state now. Infrastructure and health being other top priorities. The Trianamul congress as a party has to prove, its worthy of a alternative government to the grand old left alliance. Lets see how this women who was running the Indian Railways until now., run this eastern state of West Bengal.
In the south, it was the AMMA storm that was back in the state. With all exit polls indicating a hung assembly, just majority and all those predictions aside, it was AMMA who came ashore with a thumping majority. The DMK facing a wash-out., with not even having enough seats to be the main opposition party. The power cuts in the state, alleged 2G scam involving its ministers, detoriating law and order in state, rising prices – everything bearing in the minds of the voters., did’nt have enough to offer for the sitting government. With most ministers losing, it turned out the DMK hardly put on a fight. The Congress and PMK its alliance partners not doing better either. It was just a losing alliance. Now AMMA is back as CM after 5 years. Now Tamil Nadu has gone between Amma and Ayya (Mr.Karunanidhi) for 3 times. Now Ms.Jayalalitha has become CM for the third time. With a full majority at hand, she deserves a full five year term ahead. The new set of ministers all taking oath the same day, the government was put in place and in action within days of victory. it is also notable the ministry did not include ‘tainted’ or ‘controversially corrupt’ former ministers. it had new faces instead. This is a good sign. It has always been true that Jayalalitha had a strong grip on her party ministers and elected representatives. In this government, the CM is everything… if things go good the CM is responsible., and if things go bad… its the same CM who is responsible. This is the way, the party and government is run by the AIADMK leader. In diverse state like Tamil Nadu., this kind of authoritarian leadership helps more that it hurts. The recent interviews the CM gave to the media looks she is determined to perform in her third term. The new proposals from the government are promising which also includes scrapping of schemes introduced by the DMK regime. of course there are controversial decisions of not shifting to the new secretariat building but opting for the old St.George Fort, rolling back Samachir kalvi. But as long as the new government has a vision to improve governance it is perfectly fine to have to its way. Recent reports strongly suggest the CM is determined to solve the power crisis in the state with more emphasis on renewable energy. Energy generation from solar and wind are being considered as effective problem solver which is a welcome decision. The Aim to provide surplus power in the state is a good indication of wise planning. The CM also introduced the free rice scheme for BPL families as part of the manifesto promises. Those are costly subsidies., but the party had to counter manage DMK manifesto which had its own set of freebies. With the state’s economic situation in dire need of reform, it is hard to implement all freebies promised without raising taxes on people who can afford. How the CM handles these financial imbalance remains to be seen. It is a challenging job to be fair. The CM has to streamline subsidies. Avoid unnecessary wastage of tax payers money. Provide relief to those people who genuinely need help.
For the DMK, it really cannot do much at this moment. The party just have to manage its role in the state. With not much MLAs around, it cannot make a difference politically. Now all it has is the central ministers in the national government. Having lost its leverage on the Congress government., its up to the Congress to dictate terms with DMK from now on. Personally for the DMK leader, Mr.Karunanithy’s daughter having been arrested in 2G scam, the DMK first family has more troubles ahead. With Dayanadhi Maran’s name coming up in 2G scam, it is just making it worse.
The democratic India has thrown open two new women CMs apart from Mayawati, the current UP CM. The women politicians are making a mark in India politics. It also explains how regional parties still dominate state politics in this country. The main national parties in the Congress and BJP are not making in-roads into the regional party vote bank. This is good for democracy that regional parties with moderate views are sweeping polls. Both Mamata and Jayalalitha have majority in numbers and have a smooth road ahead. How they drive their car on them for the next 5 years remains to be seen. Ms.Jayalalitha being more experienced and having been a CM twice before has the wisdom, knowledge and is aware of the nature of the job. Ms. Mamata Banerjee does not have this luxury. The dynamic leader might have ups and downs as she kick starts her new job., and may finally settle over a year. Hopefully the aspirations of the voters are taken care of by these new leaders.




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