All eyes on Jayalalithaa

May 15th, 2009

All eyes are on Jayalalithaa once again. In 2004, it was a hasty and ill-considered National Democratic Alliance (NDA) decision to snap ties with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and shift to the ADMK, led by Jayalalithaa. DMK got 40 out of the 40 seats in the Lok Sabha elections on the back of a powerful alliance in Tamil Nadu plus Pondicherry and the NDA was thrown out.

This time, anxiety reigns in AK Gopalan Bhavan, the headquarters of the CPI (M), for they’re getting a strong feeling that Jayalalithaa, meant to be one of the most important bulwarks of the Third Front, is going to cut and run.

Initially, Sitaram Yechury called Jayalalithaa, earlier today. She didn’t take his call so the CPI (M) spoke to Chandrababu Naidu and got him to call her. “We’ve heard rumours that you’re talking to Narendra Modi,” began Naidu carefully.

“Well, anyone can talk to me,” Jayalalithaa replied and after a few pleasantries, the conversation was over.

Jayalalithaa has only one objective: somehow dislodge the Congress from supporting the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government in Chennai. If this happens, the government falls and if the Congress supports ADMK, well, Jayalalitha is Chief Minister!

The numbers are like this. The Assembly has 235 MLAs. The halfway mark right now is 117. DMK has 95 and is currently supported by ally Congress which has 35 making the alliance a comfortable 130-strong.

Over the last few months, all other alliance partners have drifted away from the DMK and have joined the ADMK. They number 38 seats, including PMK, the Left parties and Vaiko’s MDMK. So 38, when added to 60 seats of ADMK is a minority but when the Congress supports it… presto! the government falls.

This is the politics of Tamil Nadu. That is why the DMK is being super careful on the Lankan Tamil issue and on everything else. And that’s why DMK insisted Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh come to Chennai for the public meeting. If publicly the allies appear on the same platform it is that much harder for them to walk out of the alliance. eyes on Jayalalithaa digg:All eyes on Jayalalithaa newsvine:All eyes on Jayalalithaa reddit:All eyes on Jayalalithaa Y!:All eyes on Jayalalithaa