Amma gets repetitive

PTI | ByGC Shekhar, Karaikudi
May 03, 2004 03:52 PM IST

J Jayalalithaa's campaign is a replay of her first meeting a month ago. She mouths the same speech, with not a pause out of place.

An ardent Carl Lewis fan, distraught at Ben Johnson winning the 100m dash at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, kept viewing the replays repeatedly. Hoping that Lewis would win — at least in the replays.

HT Image
HT Image

Like Lewis' replays, J Jayalalitha's campaign gives you a feeling of being let down. Actually it is one long replay of her first meeting over a month ago. Stop after stop, she mouths the same speech, with not one intonation, pause and emphasis out of place. A blindfolded fellow-traveller would swear that he was still at Madurtantakam, the AIADMK chief's first campaign stop.

Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin, her lack of 'pati bhakti', K Karunanidhi's treachery towards TN, the casteist extremism of Ramadoss, Vaiko's rhetoric and two-timing Communists — all are torn to shreds with clinical precision and boring repetition.

"Isn't this what she spoke at Madurai two days ago?" asked an AIADMK worker who had trudged from nearby Kallal village as she campaigned in the Sivganga constituency.

Even the presence of her bete noir P Chidambaram in the fray failed to inspire Jayalalithaa into a pointed attack. Mani Shankar Aiyar got sorely disappointed that no verbal missiles were directed at him when Jaya toured his constituency. "That would have got me more votes," he said.

Bored by Jayalalithaa’s colourless performance, AIADMK cadres look to other interesting events. A folk dance with raunchy lyrics attacking Karunanidhi proves better entertainment. A poster seller does brisk business, with pictures of MGR outselling those of Jaya 10 to 4.

AIADMK managers had hoped that Jaya's campaign would bridge the huge gap with the numerically better placed DMK front. But her robotic roadshow appears to have only further increased the margin. Carl Lewis did get the gold after Ben Johnson was disqualified for using drugs. Neither Karunanidhi nor his allies would give Amma any such concessions.

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