TN political scene: Star Wars III: Jayalalithaa Strikes Back


Washington, Feb 28: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa seem to be on a roll and it seem the West is also noticing her administrative skills and prowess in carrying out her chief ministerial duties when Washington's oldest and most prestigious think-tank has termed the CM as someone who possesses a sharp mind and is committed to making a difference in her new term.

William J. Antholis, Managing Director, The Brookings Institution stated in his article, "By all accounts, the chief minister possesses a sharp mind, and prides herself on asking hard questions, making quick (though not impulsive) decisions, and being a prudent administrator. While not a technocrat, she does take the merits of arguments seriously - both the policy merits, and the political merits."

Brookings is a noted name in conducting research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. In a first, they have chosen to focus on an Indian regional leader and have come up with an interesting study on Jayalalithaa.

The article that was posted on the Brookings website says, "If a movie were to be made about today's politics in Tamil Nadu, it might be called: 'Star Wars III: Jayalalithaa Strikes Back'. If Jayalalitha's grandstanding were all theatrics, it might be bad for Tamil Nadu. But, in fact, she seems committed to making a difference."

Praising Jayalalithaa's policies to the hilt, the article mentions that she consistently targeted the huge deficits run by Karunanidhi, and had began to tackle subsidies that were draining public coffers. The author of the article, William J. Antholis wrote, "She surprised many in 2011 by actually raising bus and milk prices. She has committed to increases in education spending, including providing laptops for all students in 10th-12th grade. If the legacy of 'Jayalalitha III' really is going to be that of good governance, she will have to do something few Indian political leaders have done."

Antholis is understood to have visited Tamil Nadu for the first time in 2001 and is dealing with the state's huge infrastructure deficits that have dwarfed its growth to the full potential.

OneIndia News

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