Shutting the door on the two main national parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday announced that her party would go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Her point was direct and simple: The AIADMK had to contest the elections independently as the Congress and the BJP in Karnataka were united in “not giving a drop of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.”
Making this point at the AIADMK general council which met at a marriage hall on the outskirts of the city, Ms Jayalalithaa said: “If we have to secure Tamil Nadu’s rights and ensure that [Cauvery] delta districts in the State do not become a desert, we should contest in 40 parliamentary constituencies of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry independently in the coming Lok Sabha polls and emerge victorious, thereby enabling us to acquire authority to take all decisions.”
She told her party members: “We have to chart our path. What we have to realise is that we cannot be dependent on the BJP or the Congress.”
Ms. Jayalalithaa had offered support to the UPA regime in November 2010, saying she was doing so if the only reason for not sacking the then Communications Minister A. Raja in the wake of the 2G scam was the fear of losing the DMK’s support in the Lok Sabha.
She has also maintained her rapport with BJP leader Narendra Modi, and her categorical stand, as spelt out now, may end speculation about which way she could lean.
A Minister who spoke earlier referred to the acceptability of Ms Jayalalithaa as PM candidate to a host of leaders in different States such as Nitish Kumar of Bihar and Jaganmohan Reddy of Andhra Pradesh, besides the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the BJP.
Last week, she attended the swearing-in ceremony of BJP leader Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister.
After her walk-out from the National Development Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the AIADMK had organised protests against the attitude of the Union government towards its leader.