Lady IAS officers who met Jayalalithaa recently to greet her on poll victory were OVERWHELMED by her warmth

The lady officers who met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa recently to congratulate her on the electoral victory were overwhelmed by the warmth and bonhomie of the meeting. The talk is that Ms. Jayalalithaa expressed her desire to meet the bunch of lady officers who first sent a greeting card with their wishes as is their practice.

Though the meeting was brief, sources said, it was extremely pleasant. After a relaxed chat with the Chief Minister who reportedly said meeting the team ‘had made her day’, and a photo opportunity, the officers took leave, grinning contentedly on their way out.

It did not quite end there. A big surprise followed as the officers soon received, via a special messenger, a framed copy of the picture they had taken with the CM, and a personal letter of thanks from her. The officers were thoroughly impressed with the Chief Minister’s charm and thoughtfulness.

****

The Lok Sabha election results have left a message for civil servants of Tamil Nadu. In the past, a few former civil servants had tried their luck in electoral politics, but to no avail. For example, in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, P. Sivakami and L.V. Saptharishi contested unsuccessfully from Kanyakumari and Mayiladuthurai, on a BSP ticket.

But, this time, a former IAS officer of the 1983 batch of the Tamil Nadu cadre, V. Varaprasada Rao, has broken the jinx by getting elected, even though, from a neighbouring State. Dr. Rao, who took voluntary retirement from service five years ago, after holding various positions in the Tamil Nadu government, won in Tirupati as the candidate of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party.

Again, this was not Dr. Rao’s maiden poll attempt. In 2009 too, he contested from the same constituency, as the candidate of the now-defunct Praja Rajyam Party, but lost. The message is that if one perseveres in electoral politics, one can succeed.

****

Though it is nothing more than coincidence, women occupying the seats of power in Coimbatore district seem to be on the rise.

The Coimbatore collector (Archana Patnaik), Coimbatore Corporation commissioner (G. Latha) and postmaster-general, Western Region (Manju P. Pillai), are all women. Since Coimbatore mayor S.M. Velusamy has resigned, the mayor in-charge is Leelavathi Unni.

Till it became official on Saturday that chief engineer of north Chennai, D. Manoharan, would be the new chief engineer of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, Coimbatore, there were many who said one of the probable candidates was a woman.

****

The farmers’ grievance day meeting, connecting government officials with the farming community, is one of the popular events in the delta region. With the model code of conduct coming into force from the first week of March, the meetings were cancelled in March and April.

With the Election Commission withdrawing the code after the results were declared, the meetings were resumed in the districts in the last week of May. However, the failure of the Pudukottai district administration to hold the meeting in May has come as a shock to farmers. Among the delta districts, Pudukottai was the worst hit by monsoon failure.

Due to the indifferent attitude of the administration, the farmers will have to wait for one more month to air their grievances.

(Reporting by Ramya Kannan, T. Ramakrishnan, M. Soundariya Preetha and Syed Muthahar Saqaf)

More In: Columns | Chennai