Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on 21 April claimed that she is better than Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial nominee of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in rendering better administration to people. To substantiate her claim, she quoted statistics from Human Development Index.  

Jayalalithaa, General Secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), wound up her 51-day whirlwind canvassing in 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in both Tamil Nadu (39) and Puducherry (one), where the election is scheduled to be held on Thursday, 24 April. She solicited a complete majority of votes for her party candidates, to make AIADMK a key player at the central government after this general election.

In her campaign, she attacked the Karunanidhi-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagan (DMK) for its failure to safeguard the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian fishermen from the Lankan government. She also urged the electorate to not waste their right to vote by casting it to BJP. She said that Tamil Nadu is ahead of Gujarat in several matters, including the governance of the state.

Reading out comparative figures pertaining to law and order position both in TN and Gujarat, Jayalalithaa claimed that atrocities on women and caste, religion-related crimes and infant mortality rate were very less in her state than in Gujarat. She simply brushed aside Modi's model of development as a mere media hype, and touted TN's as the real one. The TN CM also claimed that she gave the best governance when compared to Modi. The growth in Tamil Nadu was inclusive which reached all sections of the society, including the poor, drown-trodden and oppressed, she said.

BJP, which has been trying to develop its base in the southern states, has got into a pre-election alliance with five regional parties in Tamil Nadu but could not clinch a pact with either Jayalalithaa's AIADMK or Karunanidhi's DMK. Till now, both Jayalalithaa's AIADMK and Modi's BJP have refrained from charging against each other. Now that the AIADMK chief has crossed that line of restrainment, it has to be seen how Modi will react to Jayalalithaa's one-upmanship. Modi is on a whirlwind canvassing for BJP-TDP alliance in Andhra Pradesh on 22 April. 

(Ed: VP)