AIADMK’s Jayalalitha has raised her hand up to be counted as a contender for Prime Minister post. So there is competition for Modi and Rahul. She has joined Third Front which consists of 11 parties – CPM, CPI, Forward Bloc, RSP, Assam Gana Parishad, Janata Dal (United), Janata Dal (Secular), Samajwadi Party, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha. Essentially the group is of 8 parties with Left Front a front within the front. These parties together account for 92 Lok Sabha seats currently. As per Politicalbaaba projections they are expected to win ~100 seats. Though, the Front has not formally announced their PM candidate, Left Front which is amongst the largest constituent has promised suppport to Amma for PM. This is a setback of sorts for BJP which expected AIADMK to support it post polls. Though this is still possible and cannot be completely ruled out.
Why Amma agreed to be part of Third Front which is full of tall egoist leaders like Mulayam, Nitish, Deve Gowda and faces a lot of internal contradictions?
Jaya is a smart politician. She knows the limitations / contradictions of Left Front and the fact that some leaders are not reliable. Mulayam, Nitish, Gowda would never allow her to be PM as they all themselves have PM ambitions. So why did she agree to be part of this Front and rub BJP (which is likely to form govt. as per majority of surveys) the wrong way before polls. After all it is in the interest of state parties to have cordial relations with the Center. Plus Amma is perceived as a friend of Modi, they both attend each other’s swearing in ceremonies.
Amma the shrewd politician she is, knows fully well that AIADMK is going to be the largest party of the Third Front along with Left parties. Left parties would not be interested in govt. formation like in 1996. Plus they are backing her. Mulayam, Nitish, Deve Gowda all are expected to register decline in seats, so they would not be as powerful as they are currently (in terms of no. of seats). Naveen too wouldn’t like to head a khicdi govt. So she would emerge as the undisputed leader of the Front. If Mulayam / Nitish fume they would not get ministries.
So she has taken a punt. She has nothing to lose.
Possibilities for Amma
Punt that BJP / NDA would not get majority on their own. Even surveys predict that NDA could be 50 seats short of majority, so others (excluding BJP) would get 320 seats. In that situation all anti Modi / anti BJP parties could be brought under one umbrella by Congress is what she anticipates. Third Front could form govt. with support of Congress and Others and she could emerge as PM. Here she is assuming that Maya and Mamata will fall in line as they would get less seats than AIADMK and Congress would take lead to bring them to fold.
If this doesn’t happen, she doesn’t lose anything. She remains CM of Tamil Nadu. At the max BJP / NDA govt. would not take her in and some of her MPs would not become Cabinet Ministers. So what! This is her party. Dreams of other members have been sacrificed by dream of their supreme leader.
As regards cordial relationship with Center, she has been anti-Congress and has been running state govt. with a showdown with the center. So she doesn’t care. Infact she would try to gain sympathy by saying that central govt. is anti T. Nadu.
She has dreams to become PM. She feels it is her best chance. So she is giving it her best shot…….