Will it be J 'Amma' Jayalalithaa whose footprint will be seen everywhere this time?
As she staked her claim as a PM probable and a deft deal-breaker by driving the Left out of the third front and throwing it open for anti-Left Mamata Banerjee, a part of the broad poll story seems to have already been dedicated to her. Jayalalithaa wasted no time in calling up West Bengal chief minister and TMC chief Bannerjee on Friday, for expressing willingness to accept her as a PM candidate in a television interview. Full coverage
Amma’s opponents in the state--primarily the DMK--are still finalising alliance talks, while the Congress still looks lonely. Only the BJP has managed a tie-up with Captain Vijayakanth’s DMDK, besides already signing up the PMK and Vaiko’s MDMK.
The AIADMK chief is now pinning her hope on the early mover’s advantage and feels that a four-cornered contest will give her enough numbers to play a major role at the centre in the post-poll scenario. That’s the reason a senior AIADMK leader, who refused to be quoted, said, “We will have no pre-poll alliance with anyone — neither the Left nor the BJP.”
Political analyst Ramu Manivannan, however, warns about how she tormented the BJP and its Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee first by making friends with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. Given the weak position of the Congress, a discredited DMK and a devalued DMDK — which is going with the BJP now — he said, “She will emerge as the largest single party in Tamil Nadu”.Another political analyst, who preferred anonymity, said the DMDK had already lost its veteran strategist Panruti Ramachandran and six other MLAs to the AIADMK.
Manivannan said--referring to her strong positions on the Sri Lanka issue, Tamil fishermen’s plight and Rajiv Gandhi assassins--Jaya has fully appropriated the Tamil nationalist space that usually was with the DMK. But it can still be a political gamble.