This is a sequel to my article titled, “Will Rajini Become CM? Will He Make A Good CM?” that appeared in PGurus on January 4, 2018.
This article is also in the context of the telecast of the results of recent opinion polls on this subject, by India Today TV, Thanthi TV etc.
Broadly, these surveys suggest that Rajini has a good following in TN which has the potential to make him the CM of TN, but if elections were held right now, people are not yet ready to elect his party to govern TN for the following reasons:
- We don’t know Rajini’s policies; he has not taken positions in politics except very rarely
- We don’t know how he will solve the problems confronting TN
- We don’t know what he will do if he becomes the CM, and how
- We don’t know what he means when he says his politics will be spiritual
- We don’t know how he will govern the state with no experience in public administration
- Rajini has no demonstrated understanding of politics, economics etc
- He doesn’t have a winnable party at grassroots level
- How he will ensure corruption-free administration is not clear
- We have faith in Rajini, but we don’t know Rajini’s fans & followers well enough to have no faith in them in politics
- We don’t know how he will deal with the Central Government
- We don’t know how he will deal with the rest of the political parties, and what adjustments he will do (or not do); he can’t continue to remain a goody-goody person in politics and yet oppose other parties
- Delivering results as the CM will be very difficult.
In view of these, fence-sitters among DMK and ADMK and undecided voters, who form the majority, may not decisively support Rajini, in sufficient numbers to bring Rajini to power, which will work to DMK’s advantage. So, unless Rajini addresses all these issues to the satisfaction of the Tamilnadu electorate, chances are he may end up in the 3rd place, behind DMK and even ADMK. But if he addresses them successfully convincing the people of TN, he could become the next CM.
Declare an honest person with excellent credentials and demonstrated record in public administration as Deputy CM to handle the Administration
What can Rajini do to convince the TN voters and become the next CM? If he merely announces schemes, DMK and ADMK will also announce grander counter-schemes, leaving people wondering whom to believe in. In such a case, the votes of fence-sitters will get divided, which may not favor Rajini. Rajini should announce things that DMK and ADMK dare not, and even if they do, they will lack the credibility.
What can be such promises and statements of intent from Rajini? I think Rajini should:
- Declare his party’s policies clearly and unambiguously, including what he means by Spiritual Politics. This will position him as a counter-force vis a vis atheistic DMK. There’s a huge constituency which will support his position on the basis of this policy.
- Declare that if his party is voted to power, he will become a Watchdog CM, and hold only watchdog ministries like Home, Performance Review of All Ministries and Vigilance & Anti-corruption. He should concede that he has only the goodwill of the people, but not the political and administrative expertise and experience. This will add to his credibility and give people the confidence that he will not permit corruption, esp at the political level.
- Identify and declare an honest person with excellent credentials and demonstrated record in public administration as Deputy CM to handle the Administration (like Dr. Irai Anbu IAS, or Dr. Thiruppugazh IAS, who may not be well-known, but once their expertise and experience are publicized, people would readily accept; a person like Tamilaruvi Manian who is close to Rajini may also be ok, but he also has no experience in public administration). This will give people the confidence that he will administer the state well and deliver positive governance for the welfare of the state on all fronts, better than DMK or ADMK.
Present a 1 Year, 3 Year, 5 Year and 20 Year Road Map for Tamilnadu.
- Declare that he will appoint someone like Sagayam, IAS, as Lokayukta and that Rajini himself will be covered under Lokayukta. He can say that if anyone in Government is investigated based on prima facie evidence, he/ she will be required to relinquish their position in the Government. This will reinforce his resolve to end corruption.
- Declare that he will appoint a similar body to investigate wrong-doings within the party too. This will also reinforce his resolve to root out corruption.
- Declare that his Government will have a mix of reputed people like IAS Officers, and good politicians and party workers. But everyone including himself will be subject to scrutiny. This will give hope for his party workers that their hard and sincere work will also be rewarded, and yet the Government will be clean and efficient.
- Present a 1 Year, 3 Year, 5 Year and 20 Year Road Map for Tamilnadu. This will give people the confidence that he has concrete plans for the state.
- Invite everyone from every stream, including politics, to join his party, as long as their goal is true development of the state and not personal gains. This will get him honest and sincere workers from other parties to build its grassroots (including for booth management), very quickly.
- Declare that no one from his family will hold any position in the Party or Government. If there will be any exceptions to this rule, he should declare them up front. This will give people the confidence that he won’t encourage family-centric politics.
- Declare his party will have no alliance with the other major parties, esp DMK, ADMK, Congress, and BJP. This will give people the confidence that his party will be a true alternative to these parties.
Clarify that he won’t join hands with Kamal. If he does, chances are their 2 opposite brands of politics will lead to endless tussles.
- Try to win their support of a large % of ADMK voters who are loyal to MGR-JJ legacy, who may not mind voting whoever heads ADMK, which will be necessary, but difficult. How well he wins their confidence will substantially determine how successful he will be in the next elections.
- Qualify the above with the statement that his party will have a good relationship with the Central Government in the interest of the state, but will oppose it when necessary. It may be a good idea to say which are the current issues where he is in agreement with the Central Government and which ones he is against. This will give an idea for the people what to expect from his party vis a vis the Centre.
- Clarify that he won’t join hands with Kamal. If he does, chances are their 2 opposite brands of politics (Kamal’s atheist, liberal, communism beliefs vs Rajini’s deeply religious, conservative, non-communism beliefs) will lead to endless tussles, leading to the distraction of his campaign.
- Declare that, by nature, he’s not one given to acrimonies, and so he hopes to maintain a good personal relationship with even leaders of other parties, though politically he may oppose them.
Once people have these assurances from Rajini at the right time, they will realize that the alternative to DMK and ADMK they have been longing for has arrived, and very likely vote him to power.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.