The women crying quietly outside AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence in North Chennai after the sun had set — factually and literally — said it all.
It was a big let-down, given that till just 24 hours back, TV channels were flashing reports that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was desperately trying to have a secret meeting with Jayalalithaa.
The lady herself remained out of reach. She did not step outside her mansion. The only information that filtered out was she was so upset that she did not even come downstairs.
Asked if Jayalalithaa would now align herself with the BJP-led NDA, a party worker outside her house wiped her tears and said “Please! Do you think this is her top priority? Yesterday everyone predicted we would sweep the polls. She is responsible for so many of us, she must be so upset.” The worker did not wish to be named but said there had not been many phone calls for ‘Amma’ on Saturday.
The morning had started on a bright note outside the AIADMK chief’s house, with a party workers assembling from as early as 6 am.
The crowds swelled and party workers distributed sweets in anticipation of a massive victory, asserting that the AIADMK and its allies would bag between 27 and 30 seats of the state’s 39. In the final tally the combine comprising the Left, the MDMK and the AIADMK got 12.
The PMK, a recent ally, wooed away from the ruling DMK was completely wiped out in all seven seats it contested.
By noon, it was obvious that the party hadn’t fared so well. Perhaps, the best indicator was the departure of camera crews of the various TV channels who’d been parked there for a few days now. The last nail in the coffin was hammered in around 4 pm when a camera crew from Jaya TV, the AIADMK chief’s channel, was told by their own office to pack up and return.