AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa is perhaps the only Dravidian politician who has a bird’s eye view of election scenario in the state as she flies across to campaign venues in a chopper.
Ill health and the searing summer heat have compelled her to use the chopper and to club several constituencies into one meeting, averaging over 17.
If in Chennai it was 21 assembly candidates for whom she canvassed in one public meeting, in Varanavasi — located a stone’s throw away from the temple town of Kanchipuram — she introduced 18 party candidates from three districts of Kanchipuram, Tiruvallar and Tiruvannamalai on Monday.
Precisely at 5.30pm, her chopper landed, amid wild cheers and clapping even as the loudspeakers blared ‘Amma varuga, varuga’ (Amma, welcome, welcome) at an ear-splitting volume and drummers raised the beats to welcome her. All this while, Thambi Durai, deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha, stood on the dias overseeing preparations. All the 18 candidates of the party were standing in attention, facing the chair where she was to sit.
As she walked in, waving at the crowds, the audience became jubilant. She then launched into her poll speech with a warm welcome and thanked her cadres for attending the meeting.
She criticised her arch rival, DMK chief Karunanidhi, who had accused of failing to fulfil her promises. She only attacked the DMK and maintained a silence on every other opponent, clearly indicating that the fight is only between the AIADMK and the DMK.
She listed out her ‘achievements’ such as Amma canteen, Amma water, among others, and declared that she had fulfilled all the promises she made in the previous elections. “I have done what I said I would do and also did many other things that I did not promise,” she said.