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3-min read

Silence at Jaya's House as Exit Polls Predict AIADMK Loss in Tamil Nadu

DMK CM candidate MK Stalin hopes that his party will win more seats than what the exit polls predict.

D P Satish | News18.comdp_satish

Updated:May 17, 2016, 3:33 PM IST
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Silence at Jaya's House as Exit Polls Predict AIADMK Loss in Tamil Nadu
File Photo of Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa (PTI)

Quick Read

  • Jayalalithaa has been the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu thrice
  • Her AIADMK faces a tough challenge from the DMK-Congress combine
  • Assembly election results will be announced on May 19

Chennai: After most exit polls predicted the exit of Amma from Fort St. George, there has been a deafening silence at the Poes Garden residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

According to some insiders, Jayalalithaa took inputs from across the state about the voting percentage and chances of AIADMK candidates when she returned home with her closest aide Sasikala Natarajan after casting her vote on Monday morning.

Since it is always a one way communication and nobody has the guts to share any bad news with her, party district secretaries told Jayalalithaa that the party was doing very well and she would stay in power.

However, sources say she did not comment on the feedback.

Jayalalithaa, who rarely interacts with journalists, keeps a close watch on the media coverage of her party. She watches news channels and spends at least an hour on reading newspapers every morning.

An AIADMK MP told News18.com that Amma watched all the exit polls. Barring one, all the polls predicted a shocking defeat for her party and Jaya’s face had a stoic expression.

Around 8 o’clock on Monday night, she went to rest for the night. Shocked party leaders and workers started trashing the exit polls to reassure themselves about the party's chances.

They are now waving the C-Voter exit poll which has predicted 139 seats for the AIADMK.

However, some party leaders admit that exit polls may not be wrong. But none of them have the courage to say it in public. An MP said, “We are hoping against hope.”

A woman MP of the AIADMK said, “In our party Amma is supreme. Win or loss, she is everything to us. Who are we to comment on exit polls? We will wait for the actual results on Thursday.”

Read: Rebel Uttarakhand Congress MLAs Left in the Lurch, BJP Plays Safe

Commenting on the AIADMK’s response to the exit polls, Senior Deputy Editor of Frontline RK Radhakrishnan said, “The way things work in the AIADMK, nobody except the top most leader (Amma) is supposed to talk on important things. On issues like election results and exit polls, they won’t talk. Since most of the exit polls except one are predicting the DMK win, even the official spokespersons are playing it safe. They are not actually doing their job."

A buoyant DMK has already started celebrating. Its chief ministerial candidate MK Stalin hopes that his party will win more seats than what the exit polls predict.

Victory or defeat, AIADMK leaders rarely talk to the media. Jayalalithaa addresses the media on her own terms whenever she wants to share something important with them.

Otherwise the party issues a standard press release on most occasions. The party normally does not take part in TV debates, pre-poll surveys and exit polls.

Jayalalithaa has not interacted with the media even once in the last two years. After her first defeat as the chief minister in 1996, Jayalalithaa kept quiet for some time. After that she gave a detailed interview to Akhila Dinakar of The Indian Express. She had actually spoken her heart out in that rare interview.

The same did not happen after her defeat in 2006.

If she wins, she will definitely give a sound bite to TV channels.

Will she speak if the AIADMK loses on Thursday? Nobody knows.

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