Irony: Jayalalithaa in jail, a bane for Tamil Nadu but a boon for BJP

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Chennai, Oct 9: Tamil Nadu has been witnessing a series of protest by AIADMK workers and supporters ever since Jayalalithaa was lodged in Parappana Agrahara jail in Bangalore on Sept 27. While many committed suicide, many others continue their protest on road.

There were reports which stated that AIADMK workers in Chennai allegedly vandalised a restaurant which is owned by a Kannadiga. Jayalalithaa's supporters have been protesting as Karnataka High Court did not grant her bail. And here comes the irony.

Jayalalithaa's conviction in the disproportionate assets case became a bane for Tamil Nadu and to some extent, for Karnataka as well. However, the same conviction has been proved as boon for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been struggling to create a niche for itself in Tamil Nadu.

BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao claimed that the situation also offers an opportunity for BJP to expand its base in the Southern state and emerge as a major player in the state in the run up to next Assembly elections due in 2016.

"A kind of uncertainty is building up fast in Tamil Nadu after the latest developments in the state. There is a spirit of uncertainty and we are watching all the developments. We are keen to strengthen our party in Tamil Nadu. With our focus on South, we are engaged in planning different activities to increase our influence," Rao said.

He said that in the wake of Jayalalithaa's arrest and her bail being rejected by the Karnataka High Court, BJP sees an opportunity for its emergence as a major player in Tamil Nadu politics.

"BJP in Tamil Nadu is very active in the mobilisation of the people on various issues relating to Tamil fishermen, weavers, problems of textile sector and small industry. Our party has emerged as a very important player as also as the centre of an umbrella under the alliance with five parties," he said.

Rao said the alliance had got 22.5 per cent votes in the Lok Sabha elections and BJP is "interested in becoming a party in the race for power".

He said that with public opinion against corruption in the country, Jayalalithaa has to obtain bail and get the verdict against her suspended. Rao, however, brushed aside as speculation about BJP trying to rope in cine star Rajinikanth in its fold.

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