Chennai, May 15 – AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa wanted to be the queen but after the exit poll projections, she may just be willing to be the kingmaker if the Third Front remains a mirage and the NDA falls short of numbers in the Lok Sabha.
Her party leaders are hoping that with a tally of not less than 25 seats, the AIADMK and “Amma” will be a major player in the new government.Considering that Modi and Jayalalithaa were good friends once, the option of support, irrespective of numbers, is also on the cards, say AIADMK sources.
“Modi is an able administrator. He is a good friend of Madam Jayalalithaa. So she might support him,” said AIADMK member K. Malaisamy. So what is on Jayalalithaa’s mind with two days to go before the results?
In the last leg of campaigning, the Jayalalithaa camp received mixed report about votes swinging towards the BJP and the DMK. It made her sharpen attack on Modi. An intelligence input gave the party 28 seats after the polls were over on 24 April.
Even now, the Tamil Nadu chief minister’s first choice will be a Third Front should the BJP find itself short of numbers. She can ally with Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress, Jaganmohan Reddy of YSR Congress and her old friend Naveen Patnaik of the Biju Janata Dal whom she calls her brother.
However, if the BJP manages enough numbers and just falls short of some seats, Jayalalithaa would want her party to be part of the centre. She could seek water resources, external affairs and power ministries. This could help her solve the power crisis, the Cauvery dispute and the fishermen issue. She could also want portfolios that would develop the state in a run up to the 2016 state elections. So after May 16 results, Jayalalithaa can start sending feelers to the BJP.
“The AIADMK is going to win the lion’s share of votes in Tamil Nadu. If the NDA falls short of numbers, she will be the first one it will turn to. If it does want numbers, it will be interesting to see if the NDA still wants her support,” said Sumanth C. Raman, a political analyst.