Tamilnadu 2021

Tamil Nadu Assembly elections | Healthy platforms for candidates to debate


Various associations are organising conferences with contestants to know them higher and make an knowledgeable selection

With campaigns being one-way solely the place candidates listing their achievements and guarantees, numerous associations have been organising conferences with the contestants this election. These conferences permit them to know their candidates higher and make an knowledgeable selection.

“During the meeting, we do list our demands and problems… Along with that, the meeting lets us know the candidates and helps us make a choice. We told those who came that they should put an end to corruption and their spending of the MLA constituency development fund should be transparent,” stated Kamakshi Subramanian, co-founder, SPARK. The affiliation interacted with the Velachery candidates. This time owing to the COVID-19 restrictions, a couple of associations held on-line conferences. The FOMRRA, an affiliation of OMR residents, had an internet assembly with candidates. This is the second such assembly it had held with key contestants.

Pleas by media

However, not everybody might maintain conferences this 12 months. The Choolaimedu Exnora Innovators Club, which holds voter consciousness programmes and meets candidates within the Assembly, Lok Sabha and native our bodies elections, couldn’t conduct conferences with candidates due to the pandemic. “Most of our members are senior citizens and we did not want to endanger them in any manner. We make a manifesto, we could not make even that since we did not have our meeting hall. Nevertheless, we made our needs, including decongestion of Nelson Manickam Road, heard through the media,” explains Kasturirangan of the Club.

Along with residential welfare associations, the chambers of commerce held interactive classes. The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, conducts ‘Meet Your Candidate’ classes nearly each election, inviting the candidates for a gathering with members of the Chamber and different associations.

Infrastructure wants

C. Balasubramanian, president of the Chamber, says it takes the recommendations from different trade and commerce associations and voluntary organisations and compiles an inventory of main infrastructure wants of the town. It presents these calls for to the candidates.

“We request the candidates to respond to these demands and not to oppose each other during the meeting. This year, we invited one candidate each from major regional and national parties… Such an event helps us follow up with the elected representatives…,” he says. However, the conferences aren’t open to all so that the programme could go off with out arguments or politically motivated questions.

Though these conferences permit residents to air their grievances and extract guarantees from candidates, they don’t have a bigger image, really feel commentators.

“Other countries have public debates in which the public can pose pertinent questions even to the presidential candidates. But here we do not have such a pattern. Nevertheless, that the people have begun raising questions is by itself a good sign. They need to broaden their outlook since candidates need to be held accountable,” says a political commentator.

According to historian A.R. Venkatachalapathy, most of those conferences are performed by residential welfare associations. But sadly the center class doesn’t have a way of the “larger picture” on the subject of discussions.

“It exclusively focusses on municipal matters without a sense of the larger picture. Burning issues of the day are many. For me, the increasing polarisation of society, the misuse of religion and faith for narrow political ends, the lack of distribution of power across the lower castes and classes are the issues that should come to the forefront wherein the formation of the State government is at stake. And in the present context, the formation of the State government has larger implications for national politics,” Mr. Venkatachalapathy says.



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