Saturday, May 21, 2016

After the dust has settled - TN Elections 2016

The dust has settled after the elections to the state government; history has been made with the threat of incumbency given a trampling by Amma; memes have been made to celebrate, drown sorrows or ridicule; but the big question on the minds of many is “Now What?”

The more the numbers of the voting patterns are studied the more the story emerges that beyond the 40% or so who wanted the same government another nearly 40% was willing to go to the deep sea and there remains the balance 20% who want change. There is a small percentage of voters in this 20% who did not want any of the current options, which apart from being a symbolic act matters little to either the results or the poll chances of the candidates. To those who kept saying that NOTA would have made the difference in the polling: pause and understand that he / she did not want to vote for anyone and instead of letting the vote get misused or go unused he / she has said “I am not voting for you”

The apathy of Chennai voters let me sad and having celebrated the spirit of the city in December it was a very quick turnaround. The Election Commission may have had its own reasons but giving a long weekend expecting our people to stay at home during the vacation season was optimism at its best. Credit to the EC however for the aggressive campaign to get more voters out but I always felt that the date would be a big mistake and the numbers agreed.

Going back to the question “Now what?”: An open letter to the new CM got shared where many came out with their wish list for the government. I agree with the open letter and many more in the same kind. I would just like to add that the present election if not an affirmation of the good that was done earlier but it is the result of the absence of a better alternative since it is only 40%.

Do I have a wish list to the government? Yes, they are as follows in no particular order:
1.    Stop opening or permitting more professional colleges & closing down the poorly performing ones and open more trade / skill schools instead. Teach jobless people to fish for free instead of giving those fish so that they can eat for a lifetime.
2.    Target the freebies with Aadhar and ensure that it reaches the needy instead of being a dole for all.
3.    Reduce barriers to commerce and industry and stop the exodus of businesses to other neighbouring states due to favourable and easy policies
4.    Be open to criticism and feedback, they will only make the government rise in esteem in the eyes of the public
5.    Open more citizen contact points for the political representatives so that the public can interact with them directly, provide more access both offline and online
6.    Improve the law and order in the state: honour killings, caste related killings, killing of old citizens for gain to stop or be effectively deterred
7.    Continue with the efforts started to recover the properties that were grabbed by politically connected people earlier.
8.    Revive, restart and finish all pending projects that are lying unfinished
9.    Avoid vindictiveness to those whose disagree with the government view and look at inclusiveness
10. Start work for the next election on the premise of development for all, peace & prosperity

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