Jaya asks partymen to gift 40 LS seats

Chennai: Setting her sights on carving out a larger role in national politics, AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today asked her partymen to `gift` her with all 40 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 elections.

"Winning all the 40 seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls would be the best present my dear partymen you can give me and I request you to start working towards this goal," Jayalalithaa, who will turn 64 on February 24, said.

Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha seats and the neighbouring Union Territory of Puduchery one. This is not the first time Jayalalithaa has had made her ambitions of national role public.

In her address to partymen in the AIADMK general council in December last, she had exhorted them to galvanize the party for a role at national level, saying it would even be in a position to elect the next Prime Minister.

Maintaining equidistance from the alliances led by Congress and BJP, AIADMK had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls as part of a third grouping winning only nine seats.

However, riding on a massive anti-incumbency wave in the April 13 assembly polls last year, AIADMK trounced its arch rival DMK, bringing back Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister for the third time.

In her message today to partymen ahead of her birthday, Jayalalithaa asked them to desist from any grandeur regarding celebrations saying such a practice by the DMK men did them in as people were not amused by such extravaganza.

Holding that she was for simplicity on the lines of her mentor and AIADMK founder, the late MG Ramachandran, she insisted that her birthday celebrations should be low-key.

"It is nine months since the AIADMK has been in government. We have not been involved in any sort of extravaganza and even many government functions have been launched via video-conferencing, to save taxpayers` money."

She told partymen: "You should take a cue from this and celebrate my birthday in simple manner and by distributing welfare to others."