Ban opinion polls
With reference to “Poll: Congress to rule Punjab, BJP-SAD may get drubbed; Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP No 2; Amarinder tops as CM candidate” (FE, October 14), it seems very difficult to believe in the findings of the opinion poll recently conducted by India Today-Axis which predicts that the Congress party is set to return to power in the state by ousting the ‘in-power’ BJP-SAD combine govt in Punjab. In all fairness, not much should be read in these farcical opinion polls as the same could perhaps be show managed so as to boost the morale of the party workers. Since the actual elections are quite far away, it would be highly imprudent to draw any valid conclusions at this early stage. In fact, there should be a total ban on such opinion polls, which are largely devoid of any moral or practical justification at all. Let the Election Commission take a view in this regard.
The special mass prayers in the vicinity of Apollo Hospital in Chennai cutting across religious boundaries alone are enough to understand the love and affection the people of Tamil Nadu have for their CM JJayalalithaa, popularly called Amma. Inevitably, her prolonged stay in the hospital has occasioned an extraordinary situation in Tamil Nadu politics. How things will shape up from now is hard to predict in view of the uncertainties and concerns surrounding the health condition of the CM. The interim arrangement made by the Governor shifting power to her trusted aide O Paneerselvam is a repeat of VR Nedunchezhiyan’s temporary take-over in 1984 when the legendary MGR fell ill. Thus, the present arrangement which is unexceptionable is not without parallel in Tamil Nadu’s political history. It is important that the Centre resists the temptation to seize the opportunity created by the prolonged hospitalization of Jayalalithaa to cut a deal with anyone or any group and the run a proxy government in Tamil Nadu. Whatever is done to deal with the difficult situation must be commensurate with the Constitution.
G David Milton
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu