May 19 2016

JJ Is Back

Published by at 10:40 pm under Misc,Politics


After a suspense filled election, JJ is back in the CM’s seat with a rather convincing victory.

I always thought the DMK would win the election for a simple reason – the anti-incumbency factor. Yes, there were a few other things. There were rumors about JJ’s failing health. There were grumblings about JJ’s rule, seen most recently in the ‘sticker’ controversies during the floods. A lot of good things were said about the DMK party manifesto. Stalin seemed to have earned a lot of goodwill with his campaigning. And the third front, led by Vijayakanth’s DMDK, looked like it could pose a reasonable challenge and take away some of the AIADMK’s votes. But I felt that the anti-incumbency feeling would be the biggest factor that would take the DMK to victory.

I’ve been seeing the anti-incumbency factor in play for a long time now since I’m so used to seeing the AIADMK and the DMK win alternate elections. It was a sad state of affairs where it was always obvious that the people were voting against the party in power rather than voting for the party waiting in the wings. The primary mandate was always to say goodbye to whoever was in power and the other party’s victory was just a corollary brought on by the lack of other choices. So the biggest surprise is that JJ has bucked the trend to come back to power. Beating that anti-incumbency factor must’ve been a tougher challenge than beating the DMK.

I personally think JJ’s victory is due to the fact that there have been no major scandals or charges against her during this last term. When she won the 2011 elections, she rode an anti-DMK wave that was brought on by the staggering corruption in the party/government(the 2G Spectrum scandal) and the feeling that the Karunanidhi clan was growing too powerful and greedy with a finger in every pie. But I don’t recall any such scandal during her reign. There were complaints about her wealth, her autocratic style of leadership, her inaccessibility, etc. but none of these were new. The bar has been set so low that I think the people were satisfied that she didn’t do anything atrocious and were happy to maintain the status quo.

Another big surprise in the election has been the way Vijayakanth has been pushed to irrelevance. From someone who played a big role in the last elections and emerged as the main opposition party, his fall – his party didn’t win a single seat and even he lost his deposit – has been quite shocking. Actually I was very surprised that he was  a candidate for Chief Minister for the alliance his party was a part of. While I always saw the ubiquitous memes as just jokes, I did see some videos where he came off as a joke rather than a legitimate politician. I wonder if he can come back from a setback of this magnitude.

An election should be a time of new hope since we think that the victorious party will learn from its past mistakes and not repeat them. But the overriding feeling after these elections seems to be cynicism. Now its time to wait and see how JJ’s second consecutive term shapes up.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “JJ Is Back”

  1. Prakash says:

    Wow, political post. Is that a first? Although, just like with your movie reviews (where you give no spoilers), this is a “safe” political post :)

    The one controversy that comes to mind is the way the party put Amma stickers during the flooding last year. But guess that wasn’t big enough to dislodge Amma.

    Have you seen the Ammada meme yet, based on Kabali? Was Lol-ing for that one.

  2. srivatsan says:

    Amma stickers is an issue, DMK would have looted entire relief aid. Irrespective of exit polls, something told me that it’s game over for DMK this time. Exactly turned out that way. Hope Amma dismantles looters Maaran brothers, Alagiri, Stalin & co family methodically into pieces before she ends the term. This way after 10 years, depending on Amma’s health – there won’t be both DMK and ADMK time for fresh faces (everything starts from scratch again!).

  3. Mallik says:

    The word “Cynicism” in your review certainly gives indication of your side. I lived in Chennai for 12 years and always had the same feeling during elections. People vent anger on current regime rather than choosing better regime for lack of choice. However I felt very happy with Amma Canteen concept as I personally saw how many poor working class people were fed.

  4. Reza says:

    Whoever comes to power, millions n millions of people are gonna live on the streets. Im a Sri Lankan and ive seen JJ has pledged to get Ealam in SL. My qurstion is he unhappy about Sri lankan tamils living in homes rather than street. Rather than worry about SL tamils, dont you think she should be worried about homeleds millions in Chennai.

  5. Balaji says:

    Prakash, 2nd I think. Also posted when she won in 2011.
    Yes, the Kabali da meme was one of the cleverer ones :)

    srivatsan, I think the exit polls were useless since I saw some which had radically opposite results. Your last line is probably what most people want but seems like wishful thinking at this point with Stalin waiting in the wings.

    Mallik, I think cynicism is pretty much everyone’s feeling these days. But based on ur comment, it looks like she did do some good and that paid off.

    Reza, its always been politics. The SL issue is a perennial hot topic and the politicians use it to their benefit, that’s all. I don’t think anything will change.

  6. Prakash says:

    bb, yes, after I had posted my comment, I clicked the ‘Politics’ tag, and found your only other post … with the same theme :)

    You’d think this was the the best chance for BJP to make an entry, but looks like they are still completely persona non grata in TN. Also surprised that MK said he would be CM if DMK won. If not now for Stalin, then when?! Bizarre.

  7. KXS says:

    I’m glad Vijayakanth and Sarathkumar were resoundingly defeated. Both were lousy politicians in their own way. I hope these two men retire from the limelight – but I highly doubt it.

  8. vijay says:

    I am very happy about vijayakanth.This proved people aren’t stupid. He is the best comedian in the political scene. you should really watch his gestures on stage.