2012 yearender: Jayalalithaa's water, power woes continue

J Jayalalithaa

2012 was a difficult year for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa as she had to wage a legal battle with Karnataka on the Cauvery issue and face criticism for long powercuts in the state from all quarters including arch-rival DMK, which itself was beset with internal squabbles.

Fighting against the odds, she unveiled a grand vision document promising to make the state 'numero uno' by 2023 and announced a slew of sops.

A firm grip over power aided by a fragmented Opposition notwithstanding, she faced an uphill task on the Cauvery issue and secure more power to tide over the crisis.

With standing Samba crop in Cauvery delta region withering, Jayalalithaa kept knocking at the doors of Supreme Court to get the state's share of Cauvery water which expressed its helplessness. The apex court, however, came to the rescue of Tamil Nadu by directing Karnataka to release some water with farmers and political leaders in Karnataka strongly resisting and farmers in Tamil Nadu demanding more.

Jayalalithaa announced series of welfare measures, most of them free of cost, and a promise to provide good governance, but power shortage became a major irritant for her 18-month old regime, with DMK chief M Karunanidhi terming it as a "dark rule" in the wake of long power cuts and other issues.

Jayalalithaa shot off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on regular basis over a variety of issues including Cauvery dispute, the attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen, training of Sri Lankan defence personnel by India and power issue among others.

Her flip-flop on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, which was to have gone on steam last year itself but has been delayed, also came in for criticism.

For the second year in a row since its drubbing in last year's polls, DMK had to confront with internal politics, something not too common in the party.

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