BJP Walks An Extra Mile To Keep Its Relationship Intact With Its Tamil Nadu Partner AIADMK


New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which lost its three-decade-old ally Shiv Sena is now walking an extra mile to keep its relationship intact with its Tamil Nadu partner the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

Although the saffron party has had differences with the Dravidian major recently on a number of issues, it is now trying to appease its ally ahead of a visit to the state, by its working president JP Nadda on Saturday. He is expected to review the party’s functioning in the state.

One of the major issues on which the allies had sparred was on Rajinikanth’s statement about there being a political vacuum in the state. A stance which was echoed by former Union Minister and former BJP state president Pon Radhakrishnan who had said “Rajinikanth’s statement on the political vacuum in TN is true. Rajini is an able leader to fill the vacuum,” he had said.

This had set off a war of words with AIADMK and even CM EPS had waded into it and had denounced the statement. He had also said that the AIADMK government was maintaining cordial relations with the Centre only in the interests of the state and they were not ‘slaves of either the Centre of the BJP’. This had led to speculation whether the alliance would continue.

However, now the BJP seems to have taken a more pragmatic approach to its ally with its party spokesperson S R Sekar saying, “No external specialists are needed to fill the political vacuum in Tamil Nadu. The BJP is here to take care of the state.” Tamil Nadu BJP’s official Twitter handle had also retweeted Sekar’s statement on Friday.

Vanathi Srinivasan, another spokesperson of the party too on Friday claimed that there is no tussle between the AIADMK and BJP and the alliance was strong and intact.

“The AIADMK-BJP alliance is continuing in the state. There are no problems in our alliance,” Vanathi told the media.

Nadda is likely to discuss with the party’s state office-bearers to appoint the new state unit chief for TN according to BJP sources. The TN BJP does not have a leader after then president Tamilisai Sounderajan vacated her position since she was elevated as the Governor for Telangana state. He is also expected to review strategies of the state unit.

The AIADMK for now is reacting cautiously. “We don’t want to react to them for each statement,” AIADMK deputy coordinator Munusamy said.

According to observers, the BJP does not want to lose any ally after the Shiv Sena walked out on them in Maharashtra.

“BJP wants to make inroads into Tamil Nadu. However it is not an easy task and the party realizes it needs to ally with others till it can go on its own which is why the BJP entered into a poll pact with the AIADMK for the 2019 LS polls. As Rajini had declared that he would launch his party before 2021 state assembly elections, the BJP may think of allying with Rajini and enter into the a spat with AIADMK. But, the Maharashtra political drama has been a wake-up call for BJP to keep its alliances intact. Hence, the BJP leaders are now more careful in their stance and are attempting to keep AIADMK in good humour,” G. Palanithurai, former chair for Panchayat Raj Studies, Department of Political Science and Development Administration, Gandhigram Rural Institute said.

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