Political upheavals punctuated TN's 2014

High drama: Jaya's arrest leaves state in lurch with 150 people allegedly committing suicide

Political upheavals punctuated TN's 2014

From a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu to being sent to a prison, the year 2014 marked the dramatic downfall of AIADMK chief and former chief minister J Jayalalitha even as her bete noir and DMK president M Karunandhi’s own palace intrigues led to the expulsion of his elder son M K Alagiri from the party.

The scene was no different in the Congress with one of its senior leaders G K Vasan leading a split in the party.

The only aspect that favoured Jayalalitha was the Supreme Court ruling on May 5 permitting Tamil Nadu to raise the water level in the Mullaperiyar Dam to 142 ft from its earlier storage level of 136 ft. Loyalty to Jayalalitha touched fanatical heights in the year with at least 150 people allegedly committing suicide in different incidents reported since her conviction.

When “Amma” loyalist O Panneerselvam took oath as the chief minister in Raj Bhavan, the mood was grim as the move was necessitated by the conviction of Jayalalitha in the disproportionate assets case, which forced her to step down from chief minister’s post and cost her Assembly membership.

For the DMK, the year began with the suspension of Alagiri in January and in March, he was dismissed for criticising party leaders and defaming the party.

During the Lok Sabha polls, an alliance was stitched by the BJP and it included actor-politician Vijaykanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) led by Vaiko and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) led by Ramadoss. The BJP and PMK managed to bag one Parliament seat each.

Towards the end of 2014, Vaiko’s party walked out of the NDA protesting against the central government’s stand on Sri Lanka over Tamils issue and State’s water row with Kerala and Karnataka.

The Congress, in shambles, faced another big embarrassment after Lok Sabha poll debacle as its senior leader and former Union Minister Vasan quit the party to launch his political outfit. Putting a brave face, Congress said that Vasan’s “dream will not be fulfilled” as people will not accept it.

The collapse of a 11-storey building at Moulivakkam on the outskirts of Chennai in which more than 60 people died, justice after a 10-year-long wait for the parents of 94 kids who died in gruesome fire tragedy in a Kumbakonam school, dhoti row in clubs and closure of Nokia unit due to tax evasion were some of the other events that hogged headlines during 2014.

Another important issue that brought the state in limelight was the passing of a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly urging the Centre to free the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The erstwhile UPA government led by Congress approached the apex court and got a stay on the release of the convicts.

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