Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is known to inspire sycophancy among her followers who call her 'amma' and look up to her as their own mother. Jayalalithaa's face beams at her supporters from humongous posters all over the state. They bathe her posters with milk on her birthday, wear headgear with her picture printed on it on their wedding day and are even willing to get nailed to a giant cross to prove their loyalty to the woman who rules the state with an iron hand.
For former legislator of AIADMK, Rama Ramanathan, now in his early 50s, Amma is also the only person in the world who can influence his decision to get hitched. The former Kumbakonam legislator had vowed in 2001 not to marry until the party is voted back to power with Jayalalithaa as the Chief Minister, and if he himself wins his seat. But destiny, being a fickle temptress, has put many obstacles in his path to marital bliss in the last 15 years.
Take, for example, the election of 2001. Ramanathan lost to Ko Si Mani, as the AIADMK roared to power. In 2006, the party gave him another chance. But victory in TN politics, that mainly swing between the two power players DMK and AIADMK, was elusive for both AIADMK and Ramanathan in 2006.
In 2011, though the AIADMK won, Ramanathan himself lost to Mani’s protege G Anbalagan. Interestingly, the former legislator's personal assistant and protege Vishnu Balaji had also vowed to marry only after he does. Balaji remains a bachelor.
The upcoming polls held a promise for the 51-year-old loyalist as Jayalalithaa announced his candidature from Kumbakonam. But on Monday, he received the heartbreaking news that the party supremo has replaced him with S Rathna, the wife of a bus fleet owner.
Telegraph reported that Ramanathan, who was busy campaigning, broke down and wept inside his car. He switched off his mobile phone and went to a relative's farm to avoid meeting his supporters.
But the confirmed bachelor felt no bitterness towards his mentor.
"I nurture the hope that I could still get a chance to contest. Even if I do not get the MLA ticket, I will still work to ensure our party wins in Kumbakonam and Amma returns as chief minister. Who would know this Ramanathan if Amma had not made me an MLA in 1991?" Ramanathan, known to prostrate before Jayalalithaa, told the paper.
This could have been the year he tied the knot. He had even asked his relatives to look for a bride for him. But it's clearly not to be.
Amma giveth, Amma taketh away.
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