Delirium and despondency, separated by just 5 km | india | Hindustan Times
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Delirium and despondency, separated by just 5 km

india Updated: May 14, 2011 17:14 IST
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Braving crushing crowds, Muthamma, 60, from Srirangam tried to squeeze her way through the gates of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence, only to be pushed back by security personnel.

But on the day that 'Amma' had stormed back into power in Tamil Nadu, Muthamma would not be denied easily. "I just want to wish her well," she said, watching and waiting for an opportunity to make a fresh surge.

An excited sea of humanity crowded into the narrow lane leading up to Jayalalithaa's residence, and inside the compound, as poll trends revealed her massive sweep.

Firecrackers burst relentlessly, but the already ecstatic crowd turned delirious with shouts of "Amma, Amma," when the chief minister-designate made a brief 30-second appearance on the balcony of her residence to wave her hand in a slow and typically-regal style.

Outside, bare-chested men with the AIADMK colours painted on their faces and bodies, danced and drove on motorbikes through the streets of Chennai.

Not everyone enjoying the madness was an Amma fan. Ramaswamy, 40, a pavement hawker, had only two years ago pitched his roadside stall outside Congress leader GK Vasan's house, selling scarves with the Congress imprint during the Lok Sabha polls. Today, Ramaswamy - known to political workers across parties - was busy selling AIADMK scarves.

Just five kilometres away from Poes Gardens at the DMK's headquarters on Mount Road, rooms were locked, journalists outnumbered party workers, and a guard slumped in sleep outside the office of the M Karunanidhi family-run Kalaignar TV.

The TV channels took poll coverage off air, and replaced it with a film.