In June of 1991, in the aftermath of the assassination of its leader Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress was voted to power at the Centre, and circumstances led it to open the economy in an unprecedented way. The state where Gandhi was slain also saw an epochal leadership change: Tamil Nadu swept in the AIADMK-Congress combine, and the cult of J. Jayalalithaa began.

She would rule the state for 15 of the next 25 years, mostly from the front seat, sometimes from the back seat. The data interactive below traces the movement in economic indicators for which time series data is available dating back to when Jayalalithaa took charge, if not before.

The data shows a few things about the Tamil Nadu economy under her. One, agriculture remained erratic, and production perked up only in her last years. Two, though more companies were set up, rival DMK had a better record in attracting investments, as reflected by the current paid-up capital of companies. Three, Jayalalithaa failed to stem the slide in new manufacturing interest, especially in her first term. Four, in spite of buoyancy in tax receipts, deficits were high.

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