The people's verdict has been decisive but what remain uncertain is the state's financial status—it’s economy has seen the steepest rise in debt, about 92 per cent, according to various reports, in the last five years.
With nearly 90 seats in the state assembly, and nearing 100 if ally Congress’s eight are taken into account — actually gave DMK a morale boost after facing a series of electoral setbacks since the 2011 assembly polls.
Apart from her government’s achievements and sops, what helped Jayalalithaa was the multi-cornered fight, especially the presence of the Vijayakanth-led PWF-TMC alliance that appears to have split DMK votes.
Those who persisted in believing that the AIADMK would prevail were the people who live in the villages, the auto drivers and tea makers who have no access to Twitter or Whatsapp or any forms of social media.
One of the telling figures of the campaign was the Election Commission's seizure of over Rs 100 crore in cash in Tamil Nadu. According to EC officials, this is the highest pre-election cash seizure anywhere in the country.
Several opinion polls have given a slight edge to arch-rivals DMK in what is expected to be a closely fought election, and AIADMK leaders are hoping that Jayalalithaa’s letter will turn out to be a wake-up call for party functionaries.
These smaller parties — as well as Vijayakanth’s DMDK that seeks to project itself as a party above caste politics — present the voter a variety of choices, with the PMK too contesting alone this time.
Without taking names, he added, “In this chopper scam... shouldn’t we punish those who committed a crime? Do you demand a punishment for them or not? I want to see them punished, all who are behind the theft should be punished.”