They will represent Jayalalithaa, who will be campaigning

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday deputed two AIADMK MPs to represent her at the swearing-in ceremony of Parkash Singh Badal as the Chief Minister of Punjab, as she could not attend the function on March 14.

Mr. Badal, who has won the elections for the second time, had invited Ms. Jayalalithaa over phone.

A State government release stated that though she was keen to attend the function, she had conveyed her inability to make it to Punjab as she would be busy campaigning for the Sankarankoil Assembly by-election.

Therefore, she had deputed M. Thambidurai, Lok Sabha member, and V. Maitreyan, Rajya Sabha MP, to represent her and the party.

The reactions of Ms. Jayalalithaa and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M. Karunanidhi to the outcome of the recent elections have indicated their present political thinking, even though the Lok Sabha elections are not due until 2014.

While Ms. Jayalalithaa greeted the Akali Dal's election victory by calling up Mr. Badal, who belongs to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) camp, and congratulating him, Mr. Karunanidhi sent congratulatory messages to both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav on the Samajwadi Party's victory in Uttar Pradesh.

Ms. Jayalalithaa has not been overtly warm towards the Bharatiya Janata Party, but maintains cordial relations with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. She had invited Mr. Modi for her swearing-in as Chief Minister in May 2011. She had also despatched Mr. Thambidurai and Dr. Maitreyan to Ahmedabad to felicitate Mr. Modi on his undertaking a ‘sadbhavna' fast.

During a visit to Chennai in January, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani had described Ms. Jayalalithaa as “a natural ally of the BJP”. At the same time, Ms. Jayalalithaa has repeatedly voiced her unhappiness over the Centre's attitude to Tamil Nadu, accusing the UPA government of ignoring its requests for post-disaster assistance, additional power from the Central pool and over alleged attempts to usurp the powers of the States.

Karunanidhi remarks

Mr. Karunanidhi described the SP's success in UP as a victory of the “backward and oppressed classes,” indicating that despite his increasingly uncomfortable relationship with the Congress, he would keep away from the BJP.

On more than one occasion, Mr. Karunanidhi has clearly expressed his displeasure over the stand of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre on a slew of issues, including the rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Tamils and attacks on Tamil fishermen.

He has twice urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take a stand against Sri Lanka when a US-sponsored resolution comes up for consideration before the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.