Every time her political rivals have written her off, Tamil Nadu’s three time Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has made a comeback.
And so while AIADMK’s political rivals believe that Saturday’s verdict against Ms Jayalalithaa would be a permanent setback and weaken her hold over the party, political analysts refuse to endorse this assessment.
Veteran journalist and political analyst Cho Ramaswamy said though the judgment was a blow to her now, there was a lot of sympathy for Ms Jayalalithaa among the people. “The considered opinion of the legal experts is that legal avenues are available to her and she may come out unscathed in the future,” said Mr Ramaswamy, a long-time friend.
Mr Ramaswamy went on to say that Ms. Jayalalithaa’s political absence at this juncture would be a setback not to her but to the State, considering the political happenings in Tamil Nadu during the last regime of the DMK.
Professor A.R. Venkatachalapathy of the Madras Institute of Development Stutdies (MIDS) said Ms Jayalalithaa’s future would depend on how things would unfurl in the coming days, particularly how her appeal in the higher courts is decided.
“She may remote control the party and administration for a short period of one or two months. It may not be possible for her to remote control an election in a State,” Mr Venkatachalapathy said.
The historian also felt that the BJP could make use of the present crisis to make inroads in Tamil Nadu politics, considering their performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls and the DMK’s failure to win any credibility.
Agreeing with Mr Venkatachalapathy’s argument, sociologist P. Manikandan said it is not just the BJP, but all political parties would seek to capitalise on the situation and try to turn it to their favour.
He, however, reasoned that the strength of the AIADMK as a political organization would continue to pose a tough challenge to rivals in the State. “Both regional and national parties have been waiting for this day. It may ultimately lead to a situation already existing in Maharashtra where both the regional and national parties are playing an equally important role,” he added.