Jayalalitha says re-alignment rumors “premature”

Jayalalitha, leader of the AIADMK party and the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, has called rumors of her negotiating an entry into the UPA coalition as “premature.”

“No one from the UPA has approached me,” she said, when asked about the possibility of her joining the UPA at the centre.

Asked about her previous offer of an unconditional support to the UPA, she said:

“That offer was made 7 months ago.. The situation then was completely different. After that, much water has flown down the bridge… The Congress too has made its stand clear that it continues to have an alliance with the DMK at the centre.. If anyone wants my support, they have to ask for it.”

“As of today, the Congress continues to have an alliance with the DMK.. In such a situation, it will not be proper for me to call on Sonia Gandhi,” she said, when asked her not taking up the ‘breakfast’ off that Congress President had made to her.

When asked if she would join if the Congress abandons its alliance with the DMK, she said, “that is a hypothetical question.”

The ‘water’ reference is taken to be her thumping victory in Tamil Nadu state elections, bigger than was expected by the Congress or even the AIADMK.

Asked whether she would not soften her stand on the controversial re-election of home minister P Chidambaram and the Court case around it, she said there is no question of such a move.

“There was a fraud committed by the data entry operator and votes won by Chidambaram was credited to my candidate and our votes were were credited to him,” she said, asking Chidambaram to resign and fight the election again. “Mr Chidambaram has committed a fraud on the Nation.. We have given all the details to the High Court,” she added.

Jayalalitha was in the Capital to meet up with the Prime Minister and other political leaders for the first time after a land-slide victory in the Assembly elections last month.

Her visit has come in the wake of rumors that she may join the Congress-led UPA coalition at the centre, in return for the alliance junking her rival DMK.

She said her visit was intended to maintain friendly relations with the Central government for the development of the state of Tamil Nadu.

Both the BJP, more ideologically aligned to her, and DMK itself are worried about Jayalalitha joining the Congress alliance. She also repeated her position that the Prime Minister must drop Dayanidhi Maran, the DMK leader, from the council of ministers.

“Today there are a number of charges against.. leading lights of the DMK.. Many of them are appearing in Courts on a regular basis.. None of these cases have been initiated by me, my party-men, or my government.. Any action that we may take or propose to take depends on specific complaints,” she said.

Asked about the ongoing anti-corruption campaign and the government’s attitude to it, she said “any citizen should be allowed to exercise his democratic rights to protest against corruption.” The government had dispersed such an agitation by a Yoga guru by force, claiming that RSS — a right wing political and cultural organization — was supporting the protest.

Asked whether she thought the Centre was serious about fighting corruption, she pointed out that the Supreme Court was monitoring the probes directly — a reference to the 2G probe — and said people should be happy that the Court is doing so. The answer is seen as neither an endorsement nor a denial of the Centre’s bona-fides in its proclaimed fight against corruption.

She said she has asked for a temporary allocation of 1,000 megawatts of power to tide over shortage for one year. She also promised that the state’s own power capacity will be doubled from around 10,000-12,000 megawatt by the addition of another 10,000 megawatt over the next five years.