Jayalalithaa was forced to quit as a chief minister after she was convicted in a Rs 66.64 crore disproportionate assets case. The Bengaluru trial court sentenced her to four years in jail but the case was overturned by the Karnataka High Court on May 11, paving the way for a comeback as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
As she started her journey from the Poes Garden to Madras University to take oath as Chief Minister for the fifth time, the hundreds of thousands thronged the streets. The atmosphere was electrifying and Jayalalitha was nothing less than a demi-god. This was her first appearance in public in eight months.
Jayalalitha is back in town and the political parties in Delhi are already weighing their options for an alliance. Although the BJP has not hinted at any association with the beleaguered CM, it cannot be ruled out. There are no permanent friends and permanent enemies in politics, there are only permanent interests.
She has close to 12 members in the Rajya Sabha and the Narendra Modi-led Government has little influence in the Upper House. A little help from Jayalalitha could go a long way in helping the NDA government pass bills of public interest without being bogged down by an unhealthy opposition. BJP president Amit shah should reach out to Jayalalitha and discuss the possibility of an alliance. Critics would question the party’s credibility, pointing out the fact that ‘Amma’ is still not in the clear and the charges still exist. She only has temporary relief.
Such an argument is flawed. She has been cleared of all charges and is legally eligible to enter politics. The Government can make informed decision but a partnership is certainly a possibility that the party high command would be considering. This will help the party make inroads into the Tamil Nadu politics.
Jaya’s AIADMK with 11 members in Rajya Sabha and TMC with 12 members can make a difference for the Government. 23 members from both the parties in the Rajya Sabha will provide a big boost in getting many bills, such as the Land Bill and GST Bill, passed. NDA currently has 60 MPs in the Upper House, which is way below the halfway mark of 123 in the 245-member House. It goes up to 62 if the PDP, the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir partner, is also counted in. The Congress has 68 MPs in the Rajya Sabha and together, it goes up to 94.
The formation of regional alliances is a priority for the Government and it makes all the sense. Forging alliances with local parties will increase the Government’s basein areas where it has so far failed to make an impact!