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Voters choice: Mamta, Gogoi, Jaya he!
Published on 14 May. 2011 12:53 AM IST
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The people of India have spoken, as they always do on voting day. They may squirm under the mis-governance of the governments they elect in good faith, they may rage at the corruption, nepotism and misdeeds of their elected representatives, they may appear helpless in the face of the might of the bureaucratic machinery. But when it comes to asserting their right as voters, they speak loud and clear.
As the results from the states of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam - and the Union Territory of Pondicherry - reveal, their choices is unequivocal.
West Bengal: Mamata Bannerjee’s Trinamool Congress and its allies swept the assembly polls in West Bengal Friday ending the Left Front’s unprecedented 34-year rule in the state.
The red fort crumbled under ‘parivartan’ (change) slogan that saw the Trinamool-Congress-SUCI (Communist) combine canter to a two-thirds majority leaving the Left spearheaded by the CPI (M) way behind.
Trinamool won a majority on its own with 166 seats in the 294-seat assembly, with the CPI (M) coming a distant 37.
Among the casualties-- Mamata wave was state chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who went down by a margin of 16,684 votes to former state chief secretary and first-time contestant Manish Gupta in the red citadel of Jadvapore. Bhattacharjee Friday went to Raj Bhavan and put in his resignation papers.
“This is a complete victory of democracy... This is a historic verdict. After 34 years, Bengal has got new freedom,” Mamata thundered, addressing a crowd of thousands.
Tamil Nadu: AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa (Amma) has won a similar victory, it represents the electorate’s strong desire to see the DMK’s Karunanidhi Administration go. The huge margin suggests that there were overwhelming reasons for change. It showed that people were not caught in two minds, with a small percentage of voters deciding the outcome. “We never expected a victory of this scale. We knew DMK government was on its way out. But we did not expect such an anger in the people,” T.K. Rangarajan, CPI (M) MP, told IANS. Karunanidhi Friday submitted his resignation to Governor Surjit Singh Barnala.
Assam: Set to retain power for the third consecutive term, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said bringing all insurgents groups, including the ULFA, to the negotiating table would be his main priority to ensure lasting peace in the state. It is the first instance in the post-Emergency era that an incumbent party has managed to win a mandate to rule for a third consecutive term. Despite a series of corruption charges against it, the Congress government managed to tap the growing aspirations of the voters in the state to join the growth process.
Kerala: “Old man” V.S. Achuthanandan almost did it, but in the end the LDF led by the Communist veteran lost a cliffhanger of an election battle to the Congress-led UDF in Kerala Friday.
It was the narrowest victory margin ever in the state.
Contrary to expectation, the BJP failed to open an account in the state - yet again.
“This was not what we expected,” said opposition leader and former chief minister Oommen Chandy, who tipped to take over the reins of the state.
Puducherry: N Rangasamy, nicknamed ‘Junior Kamaraj’ for his simple living and unassuming style, took a sweet revenge on his former party Congress which unceremoniously removed him as chief minister of this tiny Union Territory.
Forming a new party- All India NR Congress (AINRC) - only two months back, N. Rangasamy is all set to return to the chief minister’s post in Puducherry. In the process he spoilt the chances of the Congress to score a hat-trick victory here. The AINRC, which was launched in February after Rangasamy parted ways with the Congress, contested 17 seats and shared the rest with alliance partners - AIADMK (10) and one each to the DMDK, the CPI (M) and CPI.
Former Congressman, Rangasamy, a 60-year-old bachelor, being at the helm of affairs in Puducherry is nothing new.

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