HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Jayalalithaa: From a shy movie star to mercurial leader

KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times   May 17, 2014
First Published: 15:28 IST(17/5/2014) | Last Updated: 15:40 IST(17/5/2014)

For most part of her electioneering, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister J JayalalithaaJayalalithaaJayalalithaa concentrated her firepower on arch rival DMK and its first family. Her studied silence on a newly-stitched rainbow coalition led by BJP was seen as her post-poll card.

Jayalalithaa’s strategy paid rich dividends. With the AIADMK sweeping the state, the party is set to be the third largest party in the country after the BJP and the Congress. If Jayalalithaa can’t stop smiling, it is because the DMK stares at a complete wipe-out, not having even opened its parliamentary account.

Through the campaign, if Jayalalithaa launched a broadside against the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, with whom she enjoys a good rapport, it was only to keep the minority vote intact.

Modi too attacked her but only to give the BJP a toehold in Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa has grown from a shy film star into a mercurial leader but this time at least, BJP leaders can let go of memories of how she tormented the NDA in the late 90’s.

In 2014, there is another first: Jayalalithaa while being in power in Tamil Nadu, could well also have a stake at the Centre.

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