It was meant to be a routine meeting. But against the backdrop of the Mamata-Mulayam bombshell, today's meeting between Jayalalithaa and LK Advani assumes political significance.
With Abdul Kalam's name cropping up again, will the two leaders decide to back him? Kalam was the NDA candidate in 2002. And Jayalalithaa extended her support to the missile man from Tamil Nadu for a second term in 2007 but as he wasn't a consensus candidate, he opted out of the race for a second innings at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Having projected PA Sangma as her Presidential candidate, will the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister make Kalam her second choice?
What's more, with the Congress taking 18 hours to categorically state that Manmohan Singh will be the Prime Minister till 2014 (should the UPA last till then), the BJP is bound to make full political capital out of this embarrassment. Jayalalithaa, who has been critical of the Centre, having gone on record to say that there is "no governance at all and the country is drifting", is also expected to fire a few more salvos at the Congress. After all, she has all along accused the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to her government; and indeed, all non-Congress-ruled or UPA ally-ruled states.
The presidential election aside, will the AIADMK and the BJP use the present scenario as a trailer to the main show in 2014? That's the moot point.