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Sweeter prospects for sugar When the President was rendered homeless… West Bengal: mindless malignancy For whom the bell tolls? Revive development banks... Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Vibrant Gujarat Intellectual of rare qualities Should we change the official year? Boy, can you beat these? Polls and promises Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Align crops to agro climate endowments… There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! …and of a popular trade leader Building loyalty through the stomach TGS- The king storyteller Shipping woes of Chennai companies This scant respect for Law A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science When small is no larger beautiful.. SoA @ 80 Remembering Indira Sivasailam... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Quality silica from Neyveli Tribute – M V Murugappan Sweet news for TN sugar mills Revving up the manufacturing sector Rahman at CIC The few handicaps... 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The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines A think tank for Chennai Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked WTO Meet: resolved to meet again A proud Madrasi Music happens Why this malaise in medical education? Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Welcome GST Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Another Indian music maestro at the UN The why of tax incentives TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Kinetic Karnataka Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Things happen by accident and not by design... Plummeting profits of PSBs Mersal magnified Streamlining mandatory third party cover Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Making ‘my Amaravati’... Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Road development slows down Fuel for thought Demise of a media baron... 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Convulsions in The Hindu Valli, they are more marginalised London, London Narayan Shanti and Sadhana through Music Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Delhi returns to BJP Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Airlines in India: cost and space Where is Rajaji? When Ratan Tata visited SRM Muffled voices for merit… MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel He saved millions from starvation... Protest masters... Solar, solar everywhere … Discoms deserve better… Secularism and anti-Hinduism Readers' Mail The balancing act Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Auto components surge… Multi-faceted Venkat Parliament in paralysis... How Air-India loses customs... Gas is the way forward Editor's Says Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Tribute – UCAL Selvan… The sea- saw battle continues... Russi Mody – a tribute When nations steal growth from one another… Tatas moving out of urea production... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Adharma of opposition politics The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more The brown list of Venkitaramanan Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! The rise and rise of KCP TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Kulandai was a giant Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist IPL - no surprise this scam No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Preserving for the future Five star activism stalls development activity S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal CII projects higher growth… Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Moily’s bold thrust He continues the focus on social amelioration Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... The rise and fall of Annamalai University Modi storms Silicon Valley When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's GM Technology at last! Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Delhi is distant Kudos to NDTV... Paytm karo... More tributes to GR Breaththrough in malaria control Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Fortune for Indian Airlines Wise Presidents Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform TIAM turns a full cycle Gay abandon in pricing The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Cutting the nose to spite the face PC’s preference for professionals Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Pharma – overdose of copying Return to king coal for urea... Telangana in top gear… A more liberated TN… Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Which side are you, Montek? Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? The power-full Hindujas Solar thermal shines… Delhi is distant…
 
Wise Presidents

The contest for the post of Vice President has reduced to Gopalkrishna Gandhi (GKG) and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. The former has been proposed jointly by several political parties opposed to the NDA. 

GKG,  a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari, belonged to the Tamil Nadu cadre of IAS and functioned as the private secretary to President R Venkataraman, High Commissioner for India at South Africa and retired as the Governor of West Bengal.  Settling down in Chennai he has been a regular fixture  in literary and cultural discussion programmes. He also fits in well with the nationalist newspaper, The Hindu’s not-so-friendly stances on Narendra Modi. GKG is part of the secular ‘brigade’ and frequently waxes eloquence  against  the several policies and preferences of the Modi government,

So, GKG  syncs well with the requirements of the anti-BJP parties which originally planned to field him as their nominee for the presidential election. When the BJP selected Ram Nath Kovind, a dalit, these parties wanted to match the contest with another dalit representative and fielded Meira Kumar, Jagjivan Ram’s daughter and a Speaker of the Lok Sabha during the UPA regime.

GKG  understandably  has  to be on the right side of the leaders in opposition. He must have remembered the Chanakya, his illustrious grandfather Rajaji,  in uniting parties opposed to the Congress that included the DMK and the Communists and defeated the Congress in 1967. The Congress never regained power  in Tamil Nadu in the next 50 years. You can understand  GKG singing the paeans of  DMK supremo M Karunanidhi on the latter’s 94th birthday in  his article in The Hindu.

Few can question the multifaceted traits of Karunanidhi, especially his rich contribution as a literateur, playwright, fiery orator, organiser et al. But the incalculable damage he had caused by institutionalising corruption,  bloating the bureaucracy, neglecting growth,  lacking long term vision for economic development,  zealously enriching  his family’s fortunes, years of denigrating Rajaji and creating a divisive Tamil society... have all been sidelined in GKG’s article. Of course, the size of corruption seems to have been dwarfed by that of Jalyalalithaa. 

The BJP has chosen to field the seasoned politician M Venkaiah Naidu.  From the student days he has been active in politics and  was elected as the Member of the Rajya Sabha for four terms. Naidu has been among the prominent  BJP politicians who have held the posts of General Secretary and President of  BJP.  Naidu, as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister earlier had built good rapport with leaders of other political parties.

In the absence of tall leaders of BJP in the southern region, the party has relied much on Naidu. Remember, the close rapport he built with J Jayalalithaa even while she kept a long  distance from Central ministers? Minister  of  Power and Coal Piyush Goyal expressed concern  over the inaccessibility of chief minister Jayalalithaa and her opposition to  even beneficial schemes like UDAY. But Venkaih Naidu differed and claimed easy access. He endeared himself  with the Tamil Nadu government by making frequent visits to Chennai  during the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa and with his long presence at the Rajaji Hall when the mortal remains of Jayalalithaa were kept for public view.  He further strengthened this relationship with chief minister 

E K Palaniswami and conducted a joint press conference from the Secretariat for the first time in decades. Naidu has also been maintaining such close relations with the other illustrious Naidu: AP chief Minister Chandrababu. Together the Naidus have been working for the development of AP.  Venkaiah’s  long experience as member of Rajya Sabha would stand him in good stead as the chairman of Rajya Sabha in which the BJP is in a minority. 

Electoral arithmetic points to Naidu winning  easily over GKG.With Naidu‘s resignation the entire south lacks representation of a strong, eloquent and popular leader.  Apart from inducting the senior BJP leader of Tamil Nadu,  L Ganesan, now a member of the Rajya Sabha, into the cabinet,  Modi should even look for such talent outside the party.



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