J Jayalalitha, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, has pointed towards mid-term national elections in an interview to a TV channel.
Speaking to the Times Now channel, Jayalalitha (who likes to spell her name Jayalalithaa,) said she felt there might be changes at the Centre sooner than what everyone expects. The current central government, headed by the Congress, will see its term run out only in 2014.
“That’s what you think.. the future may not be very far away,” she told the channel, refusing, however, to speculate further about how the change may come about.
Asked for the reason for her statement, she said: “one can sense the feeling of the people.. They want a change, they want a government with a no non-sense approach to corruption, at the centre.. So, anything can happen,” she said.
The UPA-2 — the alliance in power at the Centre — has so far survived the challenges very comfortably — even taking seemingly tough actions against “corrupt” allies like Jayalalitha’s rival DMK, which continues to support the central government. The DMK, it is learnt, worries that the party’s condition will be much worse under a BJP-led centre than the current one.
DMK traditionally allies with the left-of-centre Congress Party, primarily due to ideological reasons.
The UPA had won 262 seats in the last general elections — 10 short of majority — but was able to form the government due to the outside support of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD and Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party which have 4 and 22 seats respectively. (see chart)
DMK is the third biggest constituent of the current UPA in the Lok Sabha — contributing 18 out of the 262 seats. Jayalalitha’s AIADMK has 9 seats and remains out of the ruling alliance.
A withdrawal of support by the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh (primarily based in UP state) can topple the Central government, unless it is able to secure the support of a new group. The UP elections are due for the first half of next year.