May 24, 2020
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The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle

WHILE it is known that Sasikala Nat-arajan and Subramanian Swamy are confidants of Jayalalitha, a new name doing the rounds in Chennai is: former president R. Venkataraman. It is believed that the former president provides her with both political inputs as well as tactical strategies. According to insiders, Jayalalitha’s decision to align with the BJP was backed by Venkataraman. This new nexus is not hard to explain. Both share a dislike for Moopanar and Karunanidhi. In fact, Venkataraman, as president, was considered instrumental in getting the Karunanidhi government dismissed in 1991.

Like, Venkataraman, Swamy, played a key role in the dismissal of the DMK government. Notes Cho Ramaswamy: "Though Swamy is responsible for all the cases which she is fighting now, she recognises his ability to create problems for the ruling party. She thinks she can use his talents."According to AIADMK leaders, her present assault on the members of the Vajpayee government has been masterminded by Swamy, who in the process is settling personal scores with some ministers.

In 1991, Jayalalitha had sought Swamy’s assistance in getting the DMK dislodged. Since her present one-point agenda seems to be the dismissal of the Karunanidhi government, party MPs say he can provide immense help. Besides, she believes that by having him on her side, the cases filed by him against her would lose their sting. But AIADMK leaders concede that one person who can veto any advice is Jayalalitha’s "foster-sister, friend and confidante" Sasikala Natarajan. After MGR, Sasikala has wielded the most influence over Jayalalitha. In fact, Jayalalitha braved all ensuing criticism and made Sasikala sit in the chief minister’s chair in the legislative assembly.

However, more than anybody else, Jayalalitha is her own adviser. This is what makes it difficult to predict her next move. It also explains why despite warnings that it would be politically suicidal, she went ahead with the controversial multi-crore wedding of her foster son.

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