Jaya Works Her Magic AgainJayalalitha took the biggest gamble of her life in the recent assembly elections and succeeded, confounding most political pundits and turning the precedent of last six elections of incumbent governments being voted out on its head. The AIADMK decided, out of choice, to fight these elections alone. It disregarded the state political wisdom which relies on a large party getting into alliances with a number of smaller parties to stitch together a government. That she managed to win the peopleâs confidence once again, albeit by a very thin margin, speaks volumes about her political astuteness. She rightly calculated that those parties who were petitioning her for an alliance will not go to the DMK alliance. Hence, the opposition votes would be divided if she too ignored them. In the end, this is what happened and Jaya romped home by just a difference of 1.1% of the votes.
By Sunil Garodia
The small margin also shows that the people were very confused. For, apart from fierce loyalties that the respective Dravidian parties arouse in their followers, there are a sizeable percentage of voters who are unaffiliated and vote for one or the other alliance based on their preference at the given time. This time, it seems they thought they had to decide between the devil and the deep sea. For, several DMK luminaries were caught waist deep in corruption during the UPA government and some were arrested too, while Jayalalitha was also convicted in a corruption case and lost her chair for a few months. In the end two things seem to have tilted the scales in her favour â her populist and social welfare policies and the DMK miscalculation of persisting with the past expiry date Karunanidhi.