Test for Modi: Mini elections in India next Monday
CA.C.SHAHUL HAMEED OLOMBO China’s investments in South Asia climbs to $12.29 billion and the regional trade crossed $111 billion as the world’s second largest economy seeks to make inroads into the sub-continent with its One Belt One Road Initiative says a media report.China’s investments in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and other South Asian countries reached $12.29 billion.
China, the largest lender to Sri Lanka also invested over $7 billion in the island.Meanwhile, China’s Xinhua news agency said that China’s cooperation with South Asian countries will be very broad, thanks to the growing shared interests and market demand.“A round of key projects has been launched following the China- proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote economic growth of the countries and boost regional cooperation,” states Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce Gao Yen, ahead of the Fourth –South Asia Expo and 24th China Kunming Import and Export Fair being held in the Yunan Province from June 12 to 17 , 2016. By the end of 2015 China’s direct investment in South Asian countries, specially Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India stood at $890 million, Gao said.Besides plans to step up investments in India, China launched the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with Pakistan.
The Corridor to connect Western China to Pakistan’s Gwadar deep sea port on the Arabian Sea was announced last year. According to another report last year trade grew 4.9 per cent from the previous year to US111.22 billion between China and SAARC countries namely - Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India , Maldives and Afghanistan. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Mini elections in India next Monday. AC Shahul HameedCOLOMBO - Assembly elections in four Indian States and a Union territory will be a mini-referendum on Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi’s two-year rule. It is also a test of whether Modi’s Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP) can expand its footprint in regions where it has been traditionally weak.Voting for West Bengal State Assembly and Assam Assembly have been completed while Tamil Nadu State, Kerala State and Pondicherry will go to polls on May 16.
The counting of vote will take place on May 19.The term of Tamil Nadu State Assembly ends on May 23.A close contest is expected between All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazaham (AIADMK) and DMK in Tamilnadu. The third front Peoples Welfare Front led by actor turned politician Vijaykanth is expected to do well IN some regions while BJP and its minor partners do not have much presence in Tamilnadu. of 10 months- from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to-investigation and finally to a reference in
“The Election Commission is committed to strict enforcement of model code of conduct by all stakeholders for fair and free elections”, said lection Commissioner Naseem Zaidi in his announcement to all parties.All women polling stations will be set up in Tamilnadu for the first time. An effective monitoring of preventive actions against antsocial elements have already commenced but the ruling party supporters are busy distributing money and sarrees to voters especially in village areas.In Tamilnadu State 6800 candidates in fray for 234 seats.RK Nagar Constituency where Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaram is contesting has 50 candidates in the fray including a transgender.Opinion polls say that the DMK led by Dr. M K Kaunanidhi is likely to win.
The DMK alliance is supported by Indian Union Muslim League and Congress. Some Muslim groups including group from the ManithaNeya Katchi has come forward to support the DMK.Actor Vijaykanth’s Desiya Mutpokku Dravida Kazaham (DMDK) has aligned with the Marumalartchi Dravida Munetra Kazagam (MDMK) , Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Left parties the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M and the CPI.If the third front wins Maduraiborn Vijaykanth will be the State’s third actorturnedpolitician to become Chief Minister after the Sri Lanka-born M G Ramachandran and Karnataka-born Jayalalitha Jayaram.The DMK and AIADMK have been ruling Tamil Nadu since 1967 when the DMK crushed Congress and V N Annadurai became the first Dravidian chief minister.
The DMK ruled Tamil Nadu for 21 years while the AIADMK was in power for 24 years.M G Ramachandran became the chief minister in 1977 and ruled the State for 10 years. He supported the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other Eelam militant groups financially. After MGR, his protégé and heroine in many films Jayalalitha took charge of the AIADMK after a great struggle against MGR’s widow Janaki. Now AIADMK is under the full control of Jayalalitha, the general secretary of the party.DMK leader M K Stalin addressing election rallies in Chennai said that the AIADMK government had failed to find a lasting solution to the Tamil fishermen issue, despite promising to protect their livelihood and retrieve Katchatheevu in the 2011 election manifesto. He said after the AIADMK came to power in 2011 Sri Lankan Navy had arrested about 3000 fishermen when they set out for fishing in the Palk Strait and confiscated over 400 boats but the government had not taken any steps to find a permanent solution.Sri Lanka Tamil Refugees living in over 100 camps in Tamil Nadu are campaigning for AIADMK, some are supporting the MDMK and DMK. Jayalalitha in her election campaign stated that the AIADMK would take continuous steps to attain a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka and also demanded the Central Government to grant dual citizenship to Sri Lankan refugees. She also appealed to Prime Minister Modi to take steps to release the killers of Rajiv Gandhi now in Tamil Nadu prisons.The vote assumes significance at a time when the country is caught-up in a political upheaval over a debate over nationalism and alleged religious intolerance.
The controversies have given a handle to non-BJP parties which are hoping to further corner Premier Modi after his party’s humiliating defeat in Delhi and Bihar Assembly polls last year.The polls are also important for Modi to improve the Modi government’s tally in the Rajya Sabha, the upper House of Parliament in which the BJP and its alliance are in a minority. In Kerala the United Left Front is expected to do well. In the recent local government elections the United democratic Front led by Congress failed to impress.The total electorate in each State is as follows: Assam 19.8 million, Kerala 25.6 million, Tamil Nadu 58 million, West Bengal 65.5 million and Pondicherry 927,000It’s not just Modi and his BJP are on trial in these polls. The left too is battling for its survival in West Bengal, It has teamed with the Congress in their struggle against Mamata Benerjee’s Trinamool Congress.