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SOUTH-DMK Doldrums

SOUTH DMK Doldrums Mohit Sen PANCHAYAT election results anywhere are, of course, not an accurate indicator of the popularity or otherwise of different political parties. All kinds of local influences, problems and personalities play at least as important a role as the programmes and policies of the contending parties who, in any event, do not contend as political parties. Panchayat elections, as a matter of fact, are an example of the law of aggregates, viz that, events at a unique and discrete level do not always reveal as much as does the aggregation of events. Results of the Assembly and Parliament elections tell us much more about trends in politics, despite the fact that they are not quite so broad-based nor can the electorate exercise that measure of detailed scrutiny.

Emerging Confrontation

Mohit Sen OUTWARDLY it does appear as if the Indian polity is in a state of confusion and disarray as never before, The ruling party of two decades is irrevocably split. And within the two Congresses group-rivalries and factional differences have far from ceased. The Swatantra party faces a revolt from its Gujarat unit while Balraj Madhok has not reconciled himself to the seemingly solo political line of the majority of the Jan Sangh led by Atal Behari Vajpayee. In the "pure" centrist parties, also, acute tussles proceed

SOUTH-Telengana Again

has been substantially less than was considered necessary in the Plan and yet it has hardly hurt the economy or the developmental effort. Will the large quantum of aid assumed in the Plan then be really necessary (even if it were available, which appears problematic)? Officials, specially of the Finance Mi nistry, and the planners appear to be under the spell of cliches. The trade gap, it is true, has narrowed in the last two years, mainly because of decline in imports (in spite of import liberalisa tion). But it is taken as axiomatic that this decline in imports has been due to the sluggishness of the economy and the stagnation in new investment. Once the investment climate improves and there is a spurt in industrial activity, it is argued, imports will shoot up and the trade and balance of payments gap will widen again. This is the main argu ment put forward by Finance Ministry officials who persist with efforts to get all the aid they can without being too finicky about its terms.

The Non-Liberal Right in Indian Politics

 less the problem of soaring prices is effectively tackled, these well-meaning efforts will not be of real and lasting value". Subramaniam's suggestions nonetheless "deserve careful study and approval of the party men and the Government".

SOUTH-Trouble in Tamil Nadu

tects town planners on retainer basis, improve the return on existing real estate investment of LIC, and take major initiatives in housing finance.

SOUTH-Telengana Over

on the event in its daily column 'Behind the news", making me wonder who was behind what here, though none of the other great 'national' dailies had a word or thought to convey to their readers. So much for tennis.

SOUTH-Tamil Nadu s Third Force

 Ranajit Roy of Hindustan Standard had a more or less similar complaint to voice. He wrote on April 9: "The optimism and enthusiasm displayed by Mrs Gandhi's supporters during her conflict with the Syndicate leaders and immediately after the party split formally are ebbing. Those who want to gear up the organisation to enable it to face its task in the changed situation are openly levelling the charge against the leadership that its style of functioning is the same as that of the leadership of the old undivided Congress for whom power politics had become the preoccupation. More and more supporters of the Congress (R) are asking for a thorough review of the party's organisational problems and for an assessment whether the practices of its leaders are in conformity with their professions. The same old Congress story again/' Mail concentrated its attention on another aspect of Congress politics: the toppling game. Under the title, "Ram's Moment of Truth", Mail wrote editorially on April 10 to say that "it is a fair inference that in its anxiety to carry out Operation Topple in as many States as it possibly could, the New Congress could not pause to count its blessings

SOUTH-Kerala s Changing Politics

SOUTH Kerala's Changing Politics Mohit Sen KERALA has had two serious political encounters between the ruling United Front and the CPI(M) in the Kottara- kara and Nilambur by-elections. In a few days' time yet another political contest would have been decided at Madai. Whatever may be the outcome of the third contest, the results of the first two convey important lessons.

SOUTH-Brahmananda s Luck

how this tied in with Government's present licensing policy. The inorganic chemical industry has many technical problems to face: for example, the present large waste of chlorine, the failure of fertiliser produc tion to rise above a mere fraction of capacity, and so on. Unfortunately, instead of turning the development council's attention to these problems, Tri- guna Sen has shunted off the council on a wrong track.

SOUTH-Confidence in Kerala

Tickle, Totter or Topple... Romesh Thapar WHAT a shambles the political scene of India is today. While Chief Ministers reduce the National Development Council meetings into occasions for crude agitation to obtain more funds and projects, one State Government after another begins to show signs of explosive crisis. The politicians are now engaged in the strangest of games. Functioning for years without organisation and cadres, they imagine that the old anarchy will continue in the new situation. Continue, it will. But, not for long. There is an anger developing which might vet compel these manipulators to lace fresh elections throughout the country

SOUTH-DMK s New Connections

THE coming elections to the Rajya Sabha have brought to a focus the essence of the political dilemma in Tamil Nadu. The rival Congress candidates, including such an important one as C Subramaniam, are both dependent on the favours of DMK. If C Subramaniam is relying on the influence of the Prime Minister to see him through, Chandra Sekhar has secured the blessings of Periyar Ramaswamy Naicker and expects that this direct appeal would have the required impact. DMK, on the other hand, would like to oblige one or the other Congress candidate for reasons of its own. It has now clearly discovered that its destiny lies in being the party of Tamil Nadu's awakening in the context of a resurgent India. It cannot hope to be of more than the most marginal influence in any of the other Southern States. It cannot hope to be able to maintain or extend its influence in Tamil Nadu without benefiting from the general recovery of the country as a whole

SOUTH-Kerala s Lessons

February 28, 1970 from sympathetic manner. As a matter of fact, midway through, the public took to garlanding the drivers and conductors who were running the buses. When the strike was in danger of fizzling out completely, the CPI(M) leadership sent 10 of its MLAs on an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Secretariat. This, in itself, was an admission of failure. After all, hunger strikes by pro- minent persons are intended to spark off mass action and, therefore, may be found suitable and necessary at the outset of or prior to a mass movement. Such hunger strikes in the midst of the action itself are a clear indication that, at the very least, the action has not ac quired the requisite momentum or has lost such tempo as it once possessed. The hunger strike was followed up by a call to the NGOs to take mass casual leave. Both these actions did not achieve the desired results. And, in the end, the strike (which did not seriously affect the normal running of the buses, except at night) was called off on the "compromise" basis that the dismissals and all issues relevant to it would be referred to a tribunal. The Government had weathered yet another so-called crisis that actually never was.

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