“This will brighten chances of Jayalalithaa becoming PM”

Senior Ministers of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Saturday urged party functionaries to work hard for a “win-in-40” record in the Lok Sabha elections, saying this will brighten the chances of party general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa emerging as a strong contender for the post of Prime Minister.

Addressing the Salem Parliamentary constituency consultative meeting, the Ministers — O. Panneerselvam, Natham S. Viswanthan, K.P. Munusamy, Edapadi K. Palanisamy and R. Vaithilingam — said the Parliamentary elections would be crucial since State players would make all the difference in deciding the Prime Ministerial candidate.

“A clean sweep by the AIADMK in the elections will make our leader the next Prime Minister. Keep it in mind and work tirelessly from today,” Finance Minister Panneerselvam said.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani had spoken of the possibility of a “non-BJP and non-Congress Prime Minister.” Ms. Jayalalithaa could become the Prime Minister if the party won all the 40 seats, he said.

Mr. Viswanathan wondered when Chandrasekhar and I.K. Gujral could become Prime Minister with less number of MPs, why not others.

Asking the party workers to counter the Opposition campaign, especially that of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, against the government on power cuts, the party leaders said that by June next, the dark days would be over and the State would turn energy surplus.

“Ms. Jayalalithaa has taken up various measures on a war-footing to solve the power crisis,” State Power Minister Viswanathan said.

While Mr. Panneerselvam blamed the DMK for power deficit, Mr. Munusamy asked the cadres to ignore the parties such as the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and concentrate on winning.