For the loyal soldiers of the Amma army in AIADMK, she is omnipotent and omnipresent. Her physical absence amounts to nothing as the party apparatus and the government machinery will function smoothly and do her bidding.
Nothing has changed, AIADMK government continues -- except in place of Jayalalithaa, her loyalist, O Pannerselvam, will be filling in for her. Her jail sentence in a disproportionate assets case will make no difference in governance delivery or style of governance.
The network of her trusted bureaucrats, who run the administration, is very much in place to guide new chief minister Panneerselvam. He himself would do nothing, either as CM or as party treasurer, without clearance from Jayalalithaa. In fact, so total and absolute is Amma’s control over the party apparatus that anyone stepping out of the line is unthinkable in AIADMK.
AIADMK leaders were seen bowing even to the chopper carrying Amma after it took off at an election rally venue. Such is their reverence of Jayalalithaa.
A political analyst said, Amma’s control over party is absolute. “There is no vacuum. She is only jailed for four years. And she can come out clear as well, she is good fighter,” the analyst said adding “she is more dangerous for political foes from inside the jail.”
Sympathy factor could be something her political opponents would find hard to fight -- which the DMK knows so well. Which is why, it is petrified of making a loud statement about Amma’s current travails.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of her arrest, Tamil Nadu on Monday too witnessed sporadic protests against Bangalore court judgement. Student bodies, lawyers, traders owing allegiance to AIADMK, held protest demonstrations in several places in the state.
In Chennai, a group of AIADMK MLAs began an indefinite hunger strike at Anna memorial. All the 30 ministers who were sworn in today participated in the protest before going for swearing in ceremony. The protests are slowly growing with different bodies announcing programmes.