CHENNAI: Deepavali set in early among jubilant AIADMK functionaries and cadre who set off firecrackers across Tamil Nadu soon after the Supreme Court granted bail to their leader J Jayalalithaa on Friday forenoon. That the much eagerly awaited news of their leader’s imminent release came on the party’s 43rd founding day only heightened their joy.
A festive mood prevailed at the party headquarters on Lloyds Road and near Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence with cadre distributing sweets, setting off firecrackers and performing abhishekam to her portraits. The surprise rains did not dampen their spirits either. Many assembled cadres removed their black shirts (which they have been wearing as a sign of their agony) and danced. Similar frenzy prevailed in Srirangam, which was represented by Jayalalithaa in the Assembly until recently.
As an instant reaction, a cadre in Chennai lighted a piece of camphor on his palm and performed “aarthi” for a statue of MGR at the AIADMK headquarters.
Slogans such as Makkal Mudhalvar Vaazhga (Long live the people’s chief minister), Amma dhaan engal nirandhara mudhalvar (Amma is our Chief Minister forever) rent the air.
The cadre had been offering prayers at all temples and performing unique yagnas for the release of their leader for the past three weeks. They did it on Friday morning too as the bail petition was coming up before the Supreme Court.
On learning about the bail, some of the Ministers rushed from the Secretariat to the party headquarters to share their joy while Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and senior Ministers went to Poes Garden.
A couple of hours earlier, the cadre had a low key celebration of the party’s founding day. AIADMK presidium chairman E Madhusudanan hoisted the party flag and garlanded the statue of MGR and released a souvenir.