BJP in Tamil Nadu hints it may be bigger than ally AIADMK
A curious statement by senior BJP leader in the state has left their major ally in an uncomfortable position.
With election season kicking in in Tamil Nadu, the war of words between parties has begun. Alliances are still fluid and there is still a lot of testing of waters. This could possibly be the reason for a recent statement by a senior BJP leader in the state but it is still curious considering it antagonises their largest ally in the state.
The vice president of the BJP state unit VP Duraiswamy said that the party had grown so much in the state that the upcoming elections would really be between BJP and the DMK. Traditionally, it has been a two-way contest between the DMK and AIADMK but the recent incident with DMK MLA Ku Ka Selvam had titled the chances in favour of the national party, according to him.
Selvam, the Thousand Lights constituency MLA, was recently expelled from DMK after he met with BJP national president J P Nadda in Delhi and also attended a religious ceremony in the BJP state headquarters in Chennai. He was initially suspended but after not relenting and even criticising the DMK party leadership over its continued ties with the Congress and for not immediately stepping up the condemn the YouTube group that had waded into controversy over a video that denigrated a Hindu god, he was eventually let go from the party.
Duraiswamy was probably referring to how Selvam extolled his partymen to ditch DMK in favour of the BJP. He also mentioned that on the strength of being a national party, it will be BJP that will be leading the alliance in the state, instead of AIADMK which is their largest and strongest ally. He said all the like-minded parties in the state will come together under BJP to form the government, possibly referring to the not-yet-announced party of actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth. He coped out by saying this was his personal view and the party leadership would take the final decision about alliances. This gave AIADMK a small opportunity to save face saying this statement wasn’t made by the state president and so, wasn’t the official stand of the party. The AIADMK party spokesperson said that they will respond to this once such statements came from official channels. Soon another senior leader of AIADMK made light of the statement saying the BJP leader probably meant the DMK and BJP would be competing for second place in the state, rather than the chance to form the government.