Jaya’s absence could mean Advantage BJP in Tamil Nadu

With AIADMK supremo unable to get back to active electoral politics unless a higher court clears her, and the DMK in no shape to revive itself, political observers say BJP might emerge as an alternative in next assembly elections

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | October 1, 2014 | Chennai


Narendra Modi and J Jayalalithaa: Can BJP use space vacated by the former Tamil Nadu CM`s absence to its advantage in the southern state?
Narendra Modi and J Jayalalithaa: Can BJP use space vacated by the former Tamil Nadu CM`s absence to its advantage in the southern state?

Electoral battles in Tamil Nadu have mostly thrown up decisive results. Considering the trend since 1967, it has been either of the two Dravida parties – the DMK or the AIADMK – coming to power.

But with former chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa out of electoral politics and looking at the possibility of a four-year jail term (the Karnataka HC on October 1 postponed the bail hearing till October 7; read our article here), there can be a departure from this trend in the next assembly elections scheduled for 2016, say political observers in Chennai.

“People vote for AIADMK or DMK since they do not have an alternative (with the Congress a spent force in the state). But there is now the scope for BJP to make an impact in Tamil Nadu,” said a city-based analyst. “The BJP by itself, or in coalition with other smaller parties, can emerge as an alternative force. Since Jayalalithaa has been disqualified as an MLA and she might not be cleared of all the charges before the elections, the saffron party may get more support and spread its wings here.”

Emphasising that the BJP wants to present itself as “an alternative party” in a state where its influence has been minimal till date, senior BJP leader from Tamil Nadu L Ganesan told Governance Now: “We are working to grow BJP in the state. But at this juncture, planning for growth would leave a bad taste (in people’s mouth) and we are not people who fish in troubled waters.”

He also expressed his sympathy towards AIADMK workers. 

ALSO READ: With Jaya in jail, babus fear pending files will drown TN administration

But those watching the political scene say if Jayalalithaa gets bail she can manage the entire administration from her Poes Garden residence in Chennai, or from her home in Nilgiri mountains, or the palatial bungalow at OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road).

Earlier, in 2001, when Jayalalithaa was unseated for a few weeks in another criminal case and O Panneerselvam had taken charge as chief minister till her return to office, she worked from her Poes Garden residence. So what makes things different this time? Political observers say all this will go on till 2016 this time, which is a long period. And so long as the courts do not stay the conviction itself, Jayalalithaa will be disqualified from holding any elected office for a period of at least 10 years – for the course of her four-year prison term and an additional period of six years.

The question here is when people know she won’t return to active politics for such a long period, will people vote for Panneerselvam, the proxy chief minister, or any other face from AIADMK? The chances of DMK returning to power are also unlikely and that was proven during the Lok Sabha elections too, said another political observer.

A Bangalore court on Saturday handed Jayalalithaa a four-year jail term and Rs 100 crore penalty for amassing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. The case was filed by Subramanian Swamy, now with the BJP, in 1997 regarding accumulation of assets worth Rs 66 crore during her first tenure as Tamil Nadu chief minister from 1991 to 1996 (read: Tamil Nadu tense as Jayalalithaa gets 4-yr jail, Rs 100-cr penalty in DA case)

 

Comments

 

Other News

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Carbon neutrality: distant dream or a possible future?

While many countries have been chasing to reach the carbon neutral status, only a few seem to be living up to their pledges as of now. The famous ’Paris Agreement’ of 2015 was glorified and celebrated that finally 196 countries have united with an intent to mitigate and reduce the greenhouse ga

Agnipath: benefits and challenges on the path ahead

The government this week announced the Tour of Duty or `Agnipath` scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces. Under this scheme new soldiers will be recruited only for four years. This radical and far-reaching scheme has attracted mixed reactions from various quarters. While some officials

Connecting credit card with UPI: What it means for you

UPI has become an integral part of our daily lives now. We use it to buy groceries, we use it to send money to friends and family, we use it to purchase tickets, book shows, pay the cab driver, and a whole host of other things due to the ease and availability of such a platform at our fingertips. The best

Gandhi’s letters to his youngest son also hold his aspirations for nation

Scorching Love: Letters from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to his son, Devadas By Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Tridip Suhrud Oxford University Press, 528 page, Rs 1495 Gandhi’s era happened to be an era when letter-writing was a primary mode of communica

‘In Mumbai, society, police forces triumphed over Covid-19’

Crediting the citizens of Mumbai for coming forward to help the police in combating the crisis situation due to Covid-19, Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey has said that Mumbai Police lost quite a few policemen during the pandemic but cumulative efforts, with citizens working hand in hand with the p

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter