Jaya devoted to making a difference: US think tank

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 15:17

Washington: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalitha possesses a sharp mind and is committed to making
a difference in her new term, one of the Washington`s oldest
and most prestigious think-tank has said.

"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," William J Antholis, managing director, The Brookings
Institution, said in an article.

It is quite unusual for Brookings, which is known for
conducting research and education in the social sciences,
primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance,
foreign policy, and global economy and development, to come
out with an article on a regional Indian leader.

"If a movie were to be made about today`s politics in
Tamil Nadu, it might be called: `Star Wars III: Jayalalitha
Strikes Back`," says the article posted on the Brookings
website.

"If Jayalalitha`s grandstanding were all theatrics, it
might be bad for Tamil Nadu. But, in fact, she seems committed
to making a difference," it said.

The article mentioned that she consistently targeted the
huge deficits run by Karunanidhi, and had began to tackle
subsidies that were draining public coffers.

"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," he wrote.

Antholis, who visited Tamil Nadu for the first time in
2001, said that Jayalalitha`s next step appears to be tackling
Tamil Nadu`s huge infrastructure deficits that have slowed its
otherwise impressive decade of growth.

"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," he said.

He added that the South Indian state chief minister will
have to make tough policy choices while investing in the
capacity of her own party members and in the state
bureaucracy.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 15:17

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