March 19, 2011

Elections 2011 - Websites on Mylapore, Velachery

If you ever come across an autorickshaw with the legend N. Murugan emblazoned on its canvas roof at the rear in the colours of the DMK party you may help me fill in on some political gossip.

One of the many dozen auto driver friends of mine had a story to share the other day when I hired him for a ride to work. He claimed Murugan was a DMK strongman and owned lots of auto.

Autodrivers do have their fingers on the pulse of the city and they have lots of info, leads and gossip. And they talk or even sing if you tickle them on their trips across town.

At Election time, you can dip into their small talk and get a sense of what is going on around you.

My OMR auto driver friend is betting on the return of Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK party. “I am a AIADMK man driving an auto that is owned by a DMK man,” he told me. ‘But take it from me, amma is going to come back.”

This can be a dipstick taken a month before we all go out to cast our vote in State Elections 2011. It may tell us which way the wind is blowing in some regions and with some people but it is
early days yet.

They used to say that most auto drivers in the city were pro DMK.
Actually, most were great fans of the late MGR; many in their 50s still are though not all side with the AIADMK of the day.
The more diehard fans of MGR were the cycle rickshawallahs. That generation is gone but the few who remain are proud to display photos and stickers of their thalaivar.

At elections, we cannot be swayed by idols, TV sets and grand alliances of the kazhagams. We need to look at the candidates, their parties and their policies.

The tragedy of today’s politics is that if the winner belongs to the losing party, not only is he or she cut to size, even that constituency is ostracised. That is why Mylapore MLA S. Ve. Shekher knew which sandwich to butter.

Where does that leave a voter?

Engagement is key. It is not enough for us to know about the parties and the candidates and vote for the best choice but to engage with the man or woman who has become the legislator of our constituency.

To help share information on the candidates, raise local issues and provide utility data that voters need, we have created two web sites for Elections 2011. One for the Mylapore Assembly constituency and one for the new Velachery constituency (which covers all parts of Adyar).

The URLs are - and

You may not only use the info and respond to reportage but also share your notes. Since this is completely local, please remain focussed. However, let not your acts be restricted to an online activity!
Engage in all ways you can.

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