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Will it be Prime Minister Jaya?

December 24, 2013 18:13 IST

An AIADMK survey estimates that the party will get between 25 and 30 of Tamil Nadu's 39 seats. This makes Jayalalithaa a major player in New Delhi, if not a contender for the prime minister's post.

J JayalalithaIf J Jayalalithaa's All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam can win 30 seats in the Lok Sabha election, she will certainly be a key contender for the prime minister's post, according to a resolution issued by the recent AIADMK general council meeting in Chennai.

The AIADMK and its rival, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, have decided not to have any alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress as the national parties have no presence in Tamil Nadu.

In her speech to members of the 256-member AIADMK council, the Tamil Nadu chief minister strongly criticised the Congress party.

Similarly, the DMK general council meeting in Chennai chaired by party chief M Karunanidhi passed a resolution criticising the Congress.

The DMK blamed the Congress for 'misusing' the Central Bureau of Investigation against then telcom minister A Raja and Kanimozhi, Karunanidhi's daughter, in the 2G scam investigation.

While the two Dravidian parties met in Chennai, a different scenario was witnessed in New Delhi.

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh created something of a flutter on the last day of the winter session of Parliament. Cornering Kanmozhi, he translated a shlokha from the Bhagwad Gita, which describes mitra droham (betrayal of a friend).

In other words, Ramesh indicated that the DMK leaving the Congress was a betrayal of a trusted friend.

Kanmozhi, it is said, listened to Ramesh and said she would brief her father about this.

Congress insiders feel the DMK has betrayed Sonia Gandhi's sentiments for the party. DMK sources point out that Rahul Gandhi did not meet Karunanidhi even once during the five visits the Congress vice-president made to Chennai in 2012 and 2013.

"Why such ill feelings against the 90-year-old leader of a party which stood like a rock with the Congress?" asks a DMK leader.

Jayalalithaa, with her novel schemes like cheap idlis, sambar rice and bottled water, is gaining popularity in Tamil Nadu.

She has been careful to steer clear of the corruption charges that once ensnared her. She still has a case of disproportionate wealth filed by the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and the Department of Revenue Intelligence in 1996 when P Chidambaram was finance minister in the H D Deve Gowda government.

The case is likely to come up for judgment in Bengaluru in early 2014.

In contrast, the DMK has become organisationally weak due to squabbles in the ruling family.

Karunanidhi's sons, M K Stalin and M K Alagiri, are fighting for their share in the party organisation.

An internal AIADMK survey estimates that the party will get between 25 and 30 of Tamil Nadu's 39 seats. This makes Jayalalithaa a major player in New Delhi, if not a contender for the prime minister's post.

A Correspondent in New Delhi