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Can Narendra Modi depend on Jayalalitha post election results?

Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 5:42pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

  • Jayalalithaa

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha (who is also fondly known as Amma) and the Gujarat Chief Minister and the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi share cordial relations at a personal level. When Jayalalitha had won the TN assembly elections in 2011, Narendra Modi attended her swearing-in ceremony. When Narendra Modi won the Gujarat assembly election in 2012, she sent a representative from her side to attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony.

But the fact is the BJP and Jayalalitha's AIADMK have not struck any pre-poll alliance in Tamil Nadu - a state that sends as many as 39 MPs to parliament. This is a move seen by political observers as a clever ploy on the part of the maverick Jayalalitha to not alienate her Muslim vote bank in TN. This does not mean that between the BJP and the AIADMK one can rule out the post poll alliance. Currently Jayalalitha's AIADMK has nine sitting MPs and next month it will be clear whether the Amma's Lok Sabha tally has gone up or down.  

Tamil Nadu goes to polls on April, 24 and the campaigning for the 16th Lok Sabha election has been quite exciting so far. Narendra Modi and P Chidambaram have been slugging it out right from day one by exchanging jibe of recounting minister and encounter minister at each other.

To add to this, Jayalalitha has criticised the model of Gujarat development. She is aware that Narendra Modi has been campaigning extensively even in the remotest corners of her state. And his aggressive campaigning during a crucial week leading to the polling day is likely have a lot of positive impact. On that account, Jayalalitha's attack on Gujarat Model of Development not only reflects her nervousness but also indicates that the Modi wave is making its presence felt in Tamil Nadu as well.

That said, in politics there are no permanent enemies. The public posturing keeps changing and these frequent shifts in the posturing are keeping the electoral considerations and benefits in mind. Right on the eve of the polling day, it does not make any political sense for Jayalalitha to reveal her future plans. She is keeping her cards close to her chest.

For this tactical move, there could be two reasons. Firstly, she does not want to alienate her Muslim supporters by announcing her alliance with the BJP. And secondly, she harbours the hopes of a Third Front that may emerge in case of a fractured verdict and in such a likelihood, she would obviously love to play a king maker. 

The BJP led NDA is leading in the opinion polls with saffron surge looking a sure shot possibility with Narendra Modi at the helm of country's affairs. Exactly a month from now it will be clear who will take the cake and form the Government at the Centre. As the popular wisdom goes, we all like to be a part of a winning side and the same holds true for Amma and her AIADMK.

Be that as it may the pre-poll posturing is never meant to last forever in this age of flexibility. Jayalalitha will ensure to be there with a bouquet of roses to greet Narendra Modi as an NDA ally when he takes oath as India's next prime minister after the results are announced. So much for coalition dharma to save democracy! 

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