The election in Tamil Nadu reflects the growing anger of the electorate against blatant corruption and misuse of the official machinery. The people have successfully seen through the arrogant leveraging of power to usurp land and businesses. The mass of the poorer sections have been able to see through the attempt at buying their loyalty with palliatives of social security schemes, which are their rightful claims in a social democracy. In this endeavour, the Election Commission has played a great role in preventing attempts at the misuse of official machinery towards the distribution of money for votes.

The change in West Bengal may have been due to the overenthusiastic attempt at industrialisation, which necessitated the acquiring of land. In its enthusiasm, the Left seems to have created a misunderstanding in people's minds. At the same time, in Kerala, it has improved its image among the electorate. This is a reflection of the strong presence of the socialist constituency in our country, notwithstanding the efforts by a section of the media and the LPG lobby to spread canards against the Left.

Kasim Sait, Chennai

The mandate in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal is for the development of the States and not for vindictive politics.

Let us hope the leaders will fulfil people's aspirations.

Ramani, Chennai

If every Chief Minister is going to undo what his/her political adversaries did — as the previous chief minister or leader — based on his/her personal likes and dislikes, tax revenue will be squandered on unproductive issues. People want fresh ideas and good governance.

J. Nagasubramanian, Chennai

While the results across India are welcome, and each State is an interesting and individual case study, a common factor is that people have rewarded those who have worked hard and promised results, and punished the corrupt and those who ignored them.

P.R. Thiruvengadam, Coimbatore

Two women leaders have emerged victorious and with record mandates. Mamata Banerjee, who is in the Chief Minister's seat for the first time, has to tread cautiously. There may be attempts to place obstacles in her path. She as well as Ms Jayalalithaa have the capacity and capability to rule well and are in no way inferior to their male counterparts. We wish them the best in their endeavours.

Sakunthala S., Bangalore

“A leader is the one who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way.” Our politicians should enthrone sacrifice in their hearts, wear the crown of justice and carry the sword of truth.

Aparna B. Raj, Alappuzha

People may have voted for stability and change, but a closer look at the results shows that a majority of votes have been polled only for candidates representing two major political fronts. Many promising independent candidates have faded away.

This is certainly not an indication of change in a long-term perspective. In a democracy, an election should be viewed as an opportunity for the people to find a sincere representative for their constituency from among themselves and not as a gala event to choose the better among the same old combinations.

Krishnaprasad Balan, Chennai

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