Jayalalithaa: A phoenix falls again, but will she bounce back?

CHENNAI: Stepping out of her car in front of the Parappana Agrahara prison near Bangalore to hear the DA case verdict a little before 11am on Saturday, Jayalalithaa is said to have told her driver she’d be back around 12.30pm and return to Chennai. That was not to be, but it revealed her attitude.

Some may call it temerity, but it was this quality that helped her surmount several adversities, personal and political, to bounce back to relevance – and power. If her resurrections are anything to go by, Jayalalithaa is a phoenix who has had another fall.

Jayalalithaa has fought and won a dozen cases in the last 18 years, but this one – given the legal and political implications – may prove the toughest. The last time she had to relinquish the CM’s post, in 2001, she had the luxury of having just come to power. This time, if she fails to get reprieve from a higher court, she’d have to face an election without being the CM candidate. It’d be the first time AIADMK would be having a CM candidate who’s not the party leader.

Political analysts concede Jayalalithaa has suffered a huge blow, but it’s way too early to write her off, political analysts say. They cite the example of her comeback after a Chennai trial court convicted her in the TANSI case of September 2001.

She has done it before and will be able to manage it this time also, said a senior politician who didn’t want to be named. “Even the DMK is in trouble given its connection with the 2G spectrum scam and the Maran business,” he said. “Tamil Nadu does not have a leader with charisma except DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi who is now in his nineties. His heir apparent M K Stalin does not have the same stature as his father,” said political commentator G Satyamurthy. He said DMDK leader Vijayakanth has a fan base but is not considered trustworthy in political circles.

Youngsters uncertain: Many young professionals said the CM’s conviction had placed a big question mark on the state’s future. “I am so scared of what will happen to Tamil Nadu now. The verdict has come when the state has been doing so well,” said Sidhanth, a management student. “No doubt she must pay for her crime. But the case has dragged for 18 years, the verdict could have come at the end of her term. Instead all hell has broken loose and we have no idea where we’ll go from here. The timing is wrong. This has been the most satisfying government we’ve had so far.”

“This has happened when both the state and the centre are doing well. It’s like a Game of Thrones twist,” felt Rahul, a finance associate. “In Tamil Nadu all parties are corrupt so we chose a government that had a good leader and good social welfare schemes. The city may not be the same after this arrest.” Youngsters fear the state will regress with no leadership to look to.

Naresh, a Bangalore-based entrepreneur running a start-up in Chennai, believes the passing of the baton will not be a complicated affair. “Obviously, Jayalalithaa had a Plan B before reaching Bangalore. She will govern from the back seat,” he said. “However, this too will be forgotten and she will return to power just like other politicians.”

Posted by on Sep 30 2014. Filed under Actualités, En Direct, Featured, Sci-Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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