Should I start this blog with “At last the election date has been announced” or “Oh, the election date is announced”? I would have chosen the first option, if the elections were announced in April or a month later than now. Though the date of announcement was expected around now, the date of election at a far, far time makes it look strange, giving rise to a question why such a long gap between the date of announcement (and the code of conduct coming into operation) and the date of election. The reason could be very simple as the first date of the election in other states starts on 4th April, just a month from now. For Tamilnadu, the election date coming at the last date (on May 16th) in the list makes the gap too long.
But then a question comes, why make the announcement for TN now. They could have waited for some more time for TN and have a reasonable time gap before the elections in Tamilnadu. No new mischief can be done in that period, and the monetary bribes in particular, as everyone knows that the elections are round the corner. By brining in the code of conduct for too long a period – to the tune of a Mandala (perhaps this could satisfy Dr Subramanian Swamy who is thrilled at anything Hinduised, even if it happens with the DMK), the election commission is putting itself in tremendous stress and work load.
There is something else that does not escape our attention in this scenario. It is the prospect of Jayalalithaa stealing the thunder out of the election agenda that she herself has set yesterday. Her moves on putting the BJP Government in a spot at a time the JNU heat is yet to subside on nationalism issues, by raking up the issue of release of Rajiv killers seem to be a good reason for finding out a way to stop her from gaining one-up-man-ship at this crucial election time. By bringing in the code of conduct today itself, Jayalalithaa had been stopped from making any move to release the Rajiv killers.
But that does not stop her from making a political capita out of it. Though it may be argued, that this issue would not give her additional votes, it could certainly serve an efficient tool to embarrass all the major opponents in the fray. This could also help her to deflect the focus from any other poll-time issues.
There can be another point of view. This long gap helps the BJP in tackling the ‘errant’ Vijaykanth. Should he side with the DMK, I don’t think the BJP (at the helm) would take it lightly after all the back-bending it has done with even their central leaders. In that event, there is ample time to ‘teach a lesson’ to Vijaykanth. This can be expected to be done by speeding up the existing cases on DMK people or just raking up a new issue on some of the top brass of the DMK. In that case, Vijayakanth has to carry the burden of all the misdemeanours of DMK and Congress if he sides with them.
Let us wait and see if there is any other game plan behind this unusual time gap before the elections.