‘Expect snap polls, going is very good for Jaya’

Several development and welfare projects will get a push, says noted historian A.R. Venkatachalapathy

Chennai: A passionate and meticulous researcher in history, especially on issues related to the Dravidian Movement, noted historian A.R. Venkatachalapathy, professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) and a visiting faculty in several universities in the country and abroad, sees Monday’s verdict as having far-reaching consequences for the state’s polity.

Development projects will begin to move quickly over the next few months after which Jayalalithaa may want to go for snap polls to the Assembly, he adds. The historian, who was presented with the prestigious V.K.R.V. Rao Prize in Social Sciences (for History in 2007), in a telephonic conversation with DC, also sees no immediate threat to the continuation of the ‘Dravidian legacy’ in Tamil Nadu politics at least for now. Excerpts:

Q. How do you read today’s verdict as several political observers say it has come as a surprise?

Yes, it is a surprise to many; rather they were expecting an acquittal in the Supreme Court. But those (the technical/legal issues) are aspects for other competent people to talk about.

Q. But about the larger political implications of the verdict for Tamil Nadu?

Yes, it is the political fallout of the verdict that I am concerned with. I feel there will be snap polls (to the State Assembly) after a few months. Meanwhile, several development and welfare projects will get a push. You can expect the metro rail project to be inaugurated, areas not served by ‘Amma Canteens’ will see new such outlets being opened, and there will be other welfare schemes that will roll out in the next couple of months, after which I expect a snap poll. As the Opposition is in disarray, there will be no time for them to regroup.

Q. What about perceptions in political circles including in the BJP that this one verdict in such a high-profile case could mean an end to the rule by the two main Dravidian parties- DMK and AIADMK – in the state?

You see, about 50 years have gone by since the Congress was defeated in Tamil Nadu. This (the sway of the main Dravidian parties) will continue for at least another decade. I don’t think the BJP is immediately for getting a hold in the state in the near future, and the Congress is nowhere in the picture here.

Q. How will this development pan out on the state’s economic scenario?

Political developments do impact, but it is not expected to impinge the state’s economy in any major way as the latter has a dynamics of its own.

Q. Do you think the verdict will force the other regional parties rethink their alignment strategies now?

The opposition is in total disarray. The DMK is on the mat. The DMDK led by actor Vijayakant does not know what to do. G.K. Vasan (who recently revived the regional variant of the Congress - the Tamil Maanila Congress) is still recruiting members for his party and the PMK is not clear about what to do. So, the going is very good for ‘Amma’.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story