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The nuclear option Muffled voices for merit… Kudos to NDTV... Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Readers' Mail The Swadeshi Trump IPL type auction for VCs? How Air-India loses customs... More heat than light CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Vibrant Gujarat Auto components surge… Waning interest in public discussions… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Shanti and Sadhana through Music A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model No engine for this car Boy, can you beat these? Delhi is distant B H Kothari - a tribute Engineering seats go abegging For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Intellectual of rare qualities TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership West Bengal: mindless malignancy Editor's Says Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Why land prices zoom in TN? Delhi is distant… PC’s preference for professionals Welcome focus on core competence Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... IAS invades NDDB... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Streamlining mandatory third party cover Editor's Notes Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Banning booze... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Breaththrough in malaria control Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Put expensive assets created to use... Return to king coal for urea... …and of a popular trade leader Robber barons everywhere Poor quality of university VCs Align crops to agro climate endowments… Which side are you, Montek? Delhi Chalo... When nations steal growth from one another… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami A professional at the helm of IRDA... Towards speedy justice L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Parliament in paralysis... 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Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Russi Mody – a tribute The balancing act Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Revving up the manufacturing sector WTO Meet: resolved to meet again A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Polls and promises GNS - 100: our first subscriber More tributes to GR Nuclear power at the nucleus S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal A welcome initiative by the judiciary Tax agriculture Fortune for Indian Airlines A glass full of corruption Medical costs hit the roof... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Rahman at CIC Mersal magnified Welcome GST Discoms deserve better… SoA @ 80 Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Fortune 500 review Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Paytm karo... The sea- saw battle continues... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Should we change the official year? TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Telangana in top gear… Marketing expert Balagopal is no more An inexplicable neglect Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Tribute – M V Murugappan The rise and rise of KCP Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL The why of tax incentives to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. 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 Things happen by accident and not by design... Come elections, come advertisements... The Gulf aviation boom Multi-faceted Venkat Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform The star of Spencers is no more Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Haul over the coal TGS- The king storyteller Kinetic Karnataka Sweeter prospects for sugar Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Sweet news for TN sugar mills When Ratan Tata visited SRM The brown list of Venkitaramanan Gas is the way forward Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Kulandai was a giant Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Sri Lanka votes for change A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Alexa – Talking Wikipedia A friendly business group Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Shipping woes of Chennai companies TELANGANA at last…BUT Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! 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Delhi returns to BJP Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Quality silica from Neyveli Pharma – overdose of copying Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Convulsions in The Hindu The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Secularism and anti-Hinduism Cutting the nose to spite the face The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Protest masters... Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Wanted: a second airport for Chennai When online building permits work…. Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Noble nonagenarians... Where is Rajaji? Funding the un-funded A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated EVM is tamper-proof IPL - no surprise this scam All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Quality education through the PPP mode The few handicaps... Airlines in India: cost and space Modi storms Silicon Valley
 
An enemy’s enemy is a friend

BJP never had a strong base in Tamil Nadu. Thus, the Dravidian parties ignored BJP. They were largely content training their guns against each other.

In 2014 things are different. Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi have labored hard to build partners in different states. In this the BJP seems to have succeeded over the Congress. For the first time the BJP managed to knit an alliance of other regional parties– MDMK, PMK, DMDK- all opposed to both the DMK and the AIADMK. Thus, for the first time, the two major Dravidian parties face the threat of another competitor to their unbroken record of dominance since 1967.

This explains the intensity of criticism on the part of Modi of lack of development thrust in the state under the DMK and AIADMK regimes. Understandably, DMK’s M K Stalin and AIADMK’s J Jayalalithaa are not amused and have opted to hit back. Stalin held Modi’s claim of Gujarat’s development model as a myth. Jayalalithaa listed the several social indices like poverty, infant mortality, maternal mortality, hygiene and sanitation and school dropout rates in Tamil Nadu as being lower than those in Gujarat. The focus of the Dravidian parties in distributing freebies like colour television sets, electricity for farming, mixers, grinders, fans, laptops, LPG stoves and easier LPG connections, free rice and now the Amma canteens have benefited large sections of poor. Understandably, these have also helped create large vote banks.

But, on the development side, Gujarat seems well ahead of Tamil Nadu. The focus on constructing hundreds of check dams, the linking of rivers in the state, the Jyoti Gram Yojana that provides uninterrupted power to villages, the focus on cotton and groundnut cultivation that have helped the state emerge a major producer of these commodities, as also contributing to a double digit growth in agriculture, the effective use of natural gas and the development of several minor ports, the visible development of infrastructure, notably power make the Gujarat experiment a more sustainable one.

The strident anti-Centre stance of Tamil Nadu, opposing the several major moves of the Centre has retarded development. There are several glaring examples like the non-action over the agitation against Koodankulam nuclear power plant for a year; the stoppage of construction of gas pipelines that would provide gas to several western districts; the stoppage of work on the elevated highway

facilitating movement between the two major ports of Chennai and Ennore; the neglect of the port, ship building and engineering facilities at Kattupalli over which an investment of Rs 4000 crore has been made and the neglect of power development with meagre investments made during 1992-2007 that have landed the state in severe power crisis are in stark contrast to the development focus of Gujarat. Modi goes more than half way to attract investments and ensure these are off the ground in quick time. Example: the Tata Nano car project. The contrast is provided in Tatas abandoning a Rs 3000 crore titanium project at Tuticorin after an eight year struggle to take it off the ground.

Historically, Tamil Nadu has been well ahead in terms of education and public health. The Dravidian parties have continued with this focus. Still, the quality of education, especially at the primary and middle school levels, continues to be poor. One has to look at the reports by Pratham on the inability of Class V students to do maths problems of Class II.

Gujarat has been a late starter in its focus on social development. But with increased prosperity, with agriculture recording double-digit growth and rural incomes increasing, the trickle-down effect should help.

 

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