The dais in temple town Kancheepuram faced north and her speech too was directed northward. Launching the AIADMK campaign for the Lok Sabha elections from her citadel in the south, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa targeted the Congress government in New Delhi. Veering away from the usual, most part of her speech dwelt on the perceived weaknesses in India’s defence sector rather than the usual local issues, betraying her national ambitions.
Her 40-minute speech focused on the shortcomings of the UPA and targeted favourite rival DMK in passing. The Karunanidhis, land-grabbing and local issues were passé and Delhi had her undivided attention.
“The coming election is not just one to bring about a change in regime, but one that would protect India from foreign aggression,” she said alleging the Congress ignored the armed forces.
“Tamil Nadu is role model for police forces…with AIADMK at the Centre, the Indian military will be a role model for forces the world over,” she said. She was armed with another list of 10 instances when Congress and DMK betrayed the “interest of Tamils”. It included alleged training of Sri Lankan forces, not protecting Tamil fishermen from Lankan navy.