Rejecting the ruling DMK's 'Thirumangalam formula' of buying votes and the party lock, stock and barrel, the Tamil Nadu electorate on Friday chose AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa to govern them for the next five years in a decisive mandate in the April 13 assembly elections.
Jayalalithaa, the chief minister designate, by virtue of being the leader of the largest single party as well as the accepted leader of the alliance led by her, said the first priority of her government was to re-establish the rule of law in the state and more important, restore the financial health of the state as its economy was ruined and was in shambles due the five year rule of the DMK.
"It is a very difficult task, as it involves a gigantic effort at all levels to repair the colossal damage caused to the economy by the government that has left the state exchequer empty," Jayalalithaa said at her press conference at trends put her alliance ahead in 201 out of the 234 seats.
"I sincerely thank the people of Tamil Nadu," Jayalalithaa said describing the victory as a vicotry of democracy and said her foremost job was to fulfill all the promises made in her party manifesto.
"It is the will of the people and it was as if they were waiting for a chance to throw out the DMK government and voted with a vengeance when the voting time came they showed their anger on the election day," the chief minister designate said in response to a question.
If the election trends available at the three-fourth stage of the 14-round counting process hold true, then the AIDMK is looking at a 150 plus numbers of its own and touching the 200 mark with its alliance partners in a house of 234 Tamil Nadu assembly, voting for which was held on April 13 in single phase.
This leaves the ruling DMK with an alarming prospect of ending behind the AIADMK's biggest ally, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) led by film actor Vijayakanth, with the prospect of losing even the status of a recognised opposition party and the Congress ending up in single digit humiliating number of less than 10 seats.
DMDK, if it ends up with more seats than the DMK, would be sitting in as the main opposition party inside the assembly.
"We had joined the AIADMK alliance with an express purpose to defeat the corrupt DMK. But we will offer constructive support to the AIADMK government," said Panruti Ramachandran, chairman of the DMDK presidium told Hindustan Times.
Chief minister M Karunanidhi went to Rajbhavan in the afternoon after trends portend a humiliating defeat for DMK and its allies, and submitted his resignation to governor Surjit Singh Barnala, who accepted it and asked the chief minister to continue till alternate arrangements were made.
Celebrations that began within half an hour of trends favouring the AIADMK, continued through out the day in different parts.
"I am a stickler for procedures and protocol. How can I tell you the date and time of the swearing in ceremony, until and unless the governor does not invite me to form the government," she said in response to questions from media persons on when she was forming her government.
However, the AIADMK leader had booked the centenary hall of the Madras University where the swearing in ceremony is being planned. It is expected that it will be an AIADMK government as Jayalalithaa, on course to a 150 figure on her own, does not need the support of any ally to form the government.
She thanked all her alliance partners for the good and hard work they had done in the field leading to a stupendous victory and decisive mandate in her favour. Above all, she took particular care to thank the election commission of India and put it on record her appreciation for the hard work done by the election commission to ensure a free and fair election in Tamil Nadu.
"They have done a fantastic job," she said.