Jaya's salvos against DMK pep up campaign

AIADMK chiefs rallies draw crowd in Srirangam

Rather mellowed by long years in a male-dominated world of crafty politics, the 63-year-old actor-turned politician is yet supremely confident and assertive not just in her tone, but also in her substance as she unbundled one issue after another in a whirlwind campaign that began five days ago here.

On both sides of the road enroute her road map for the day, thousands of people gather for long hours waiting to have a glimpse of their leader, whose specially designed campaign van is an added attraction this time. Her friend Sasikala accompanies her all through.

In contrast to the earlier way of addressing the crowds from within her usual tempo traveller, a hydraulic chair fitted to the improvised vehicle now gives “Amma” a different campaign profile altogether. At any point where she wants to speak, the chair lifts her up slowly and gently into the open sky to give her a vantage point atop the vehicle that make her seem  an icon. The squarish enclosure has an economy ceiling with tiny spotlights to illuminate her silhouette as Jayalalitha speaks.

Hundreds of youngsters out there waving colourful flags—including those of AIADMK allies like actor Vijayakant's DMDK, CPI, CPM, and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam among others—and cheering her smashing strokes against the ruling DMK with a big roar.

On Sunday, racing against time, Jayalalitha started much earlier from the Sangam Hotel in Tiruchirappally and heli-hopped to the textile hub of Karur, the neighbouring district where an unprecedented crowd awaited her at a “maidan.”

Targeting the M Karunanidhi-led DMK and its first family, she alleged that the ruling bigwigs annually made some Rs 50,000 crore from illegal sand mining and another Rs 80,000 crore from irregular granite quarrying. “We will end illegal mining, particularly in the Karur region,” she claimed. And at most places, she rolls out the Rs 1.80 lakhs crore spectrum scam. “The DMK’s first family started TV channels using kickbacks,” she added.

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