oppn parties Jaya Works Her Magic Again

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Jaya Works Her Magic Again

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Jayalalitha 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 people’s 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.

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 – her populist and social welfare policies and the DMK miscalculation of persisting with the past expiry date Karunanidhi.