In her first visit to the Capital since her party lost the Tamil Nadu assembly polls in 2005, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa joined in the efforts among non-Congress and non-BJP parties for a third front ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.
She had an hour-long closed-door meeting on Wednesday with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav at the residence of Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh. Singh hosted a dinner for Jayalalitha, which was attended by SP MPs Jaya Bachchan and Jaya Prada.
Pressed by the media on Thursday about her recent remarks about a political realignment, Jayalalitha said "a realignment is on the cards both at the national level as also in Tamil Nadu."
She refused to elaborate, saying that "I cannot tell you when but it will be in the near future". She was responding to a query on whether the changes were likely after the UP polls early in 2007.
Jayalalitha came out against the dismissal of the Mulayam Singh Yadav government before the polls. "It will be a foolish thing if the UP government is destabilised," she said.
Jayalalitha’s visit was essentially to participate in the unveiling of the statute of her mentor, late MG Ramachandran known popularly as MGR, by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee in the Parliament House.
Jayalalitha did not hide her displeasure at the absence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and the DMK ministers who had insisted on a statute for late Murasoli Maran as a condition to allow the unveiling of the MGR statue. A surprise presence at the function was that of Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Maran’s statue is due to be unveiled on Friday for which Tamil Chief Minister M Karunanidhi will be present.
"You should ask her the question," she said when asked why Sonia Gandhi, who was invited, failed to turn up.
"On a historic occasion which transcends all political formations, everyone and those from Tamil Nadu should have participated in the function." But, Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi said he told her that Sonia could not attend as she was going for a medical test.
Referring to the hurdles put by the DMK leaders, Jayalalitha said, "MGR was an illustrious person of India and he did not belong just to AIADMK to Tamil Nadu but to the entire country. Hence, he was honoured with the Bharat Ratna."
Jayalalitha, however, made it clear that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent his best wishes to the function and expressed his inability to attend due to pressing engagements.
The rivalry between MGR and Karunanidhi is the genesis for the birth of the ADMK. MGR had joined the DMK party in 1953 and remained its member till 1972.
MGR set up the rival Anna-DMK, claiming allegiance to the DMK's founder, the late Annadurai.
In 1977, his party, renamed the AIADMK, won the state elections in alliance with Indira Gandhi's Congress party. MGR became chief minister of Tamil Nadu and was re-elected for three consecutive terms.