There was, however, a complete U-turn in February ’98 Lok Sabha elections, BJP, AIADMK and Janata Party combine swept the election indicating a clear anti-DMK stance. Jayalalitha won 25 seats for the BJP led alliance and she wielded tremendous influence and kept on pressing BJP coalition government to dismiss DMK government.
Ms. Jayalalitha’s sole concern was to settle scores with her adversary Karunanidhi and thwart the numerous case of corruption, nepotism and favouritism raised against her. She was a constant irritant in the BJP-led alliance. The irritant exploded in March 99, when the AIADMK supreme threatened to withdraw support from the Vajpayee government over trivial issues.
Nemesis was fast catching up with her and she was likely to be cornered sooner or later. She plunged into political uncertainty by bringing down the Vajpayee government imprudently. Another election was thrust on the country. The Kargil misadventure by Pakistan could be a result of the political instability in the country.
In the Oct ’99 parliamentary elections the DMK partnered with the BJP and AIDMK with the Cong (I). The base of Jayalalitha was considerably weakened. During the early 2001 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, the events took a somersault, DMK was trounced and AIADMK won at the hustings. Jayalalitha’s application was rejected due to conviction in criminal cases.
But she was still appointed as the Chief Minister by the then Governor Ms. Fatima Biwi. Jayalalitha was elected from Andipatti seat in Feb. 02 elections and was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu soon afterwards. The DMK was, relegated to No. 2 position. She emerged as “iron lady” of Tamil Nadu.
She crushed the state employees strike tactfully in July 03; and is ruthless against her political adversaries. The AIADMK was routed at the I4th Lok Sabha sinking the fortunes of NDA in the process. The DMK trounced in the 2006 elections, Karunanidhi formed the govt. Both the DMK and AIADMK espouse the cause of the Tamilians, in the process scoring points against each other.
M. Karunanidhi hurt the sentiments and sensibilities of the Hindus through his utterances on Lord Ram in the context of the Sethu Samundram project much to the discomfiture of the UPA. M. Karunanidhi conveyed his condolences on the death of Tamilsalvan, the no. 2 in the LTTE, in Oct. 2007, on the specious plea that the Tamil pride had been killed. Likewise, he spoke out against the Malaysian govt, when in Dec. 2007 the Tamilians in Kuala Lumpur were imprisoned.
The DMK covered itself with glory after the 15th General elections. The party surprisingly secured majority of the Lok Sabha seats from the State and became an important constituent of the UPA.
It was during the cabinet formation that the DMK exhibited its true colours first, the patriarch wanted that all his relatives from various wives, nephews & nieces should be given ministerial berths; secondly the pressure mounted that they should be accommodated in the ministries which are full of corruption.
This image of Tamil Nadu was in total variance with the image generated during the freedom struggle, the first four Bharat Ratna were all awarded to the South Indian Brahmins.