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AIADMK’s ‘Change Of Heart’ On BJP Before Election 2019


The AIADMK has reportedly appointed its ministers to hold talks with BJP leaders including Amit Shah and union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Chennai/New Delhi: The BJP’s tie-up with the AIADMK is “nearly done”, say some political sources, indicating a big about-turn by the ruling party of Tamil Nadu, which had just weeks ago talked about its cadre being explosively against such an alliance. But other sources say BJP president Amit Shah will seal the alliance soon, telling that the deal may be done by the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Kanyakumari to address a rally on February 19.

Earlier, AIADMK spokesperson C Ponnaiyan had told that the cadre “does not want any alliance with the BJP” because they felt PM Modi’s party didn’t do much for the state, especially on the Cauvery dispute with Karnataka.

The southern party refers to the “pro-poor” statements in the centre’s interim budget that it had first criticised to explain its change of heart. The party’s M Thambidurai had said “If they had been so serious, they could have announced them in the last Budget itself. Now, statements of these programmes are only meant for elections. It appears it is their election manifesto and not the Budget”.

A few months ago, the AIADMK was seen to be changing its stand on any alliance with the BJP, with Mr Thambidurai saying, “The BJP had not done anything for Tamil Nadu. We’ll align only with a party that is good for the state”. the AIADMK won 37 seats in the state in the 2014 national election. The BJP, snubbed by Jayalalithaa, formed an alliance with parties like MDMK, PMK and DMDK but ended up with just two seats.

Now, the AIADMK is split in two, with a rebel part supporting Jayalalithaa’s long-time aide VK Sasikala, who made a failed bid to take over the party and chief ministership after her death, before being jailed for corruption. Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran has launched AMMK and even won Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar constituency in a by-election. But then again, last week, the AIADMK hinted that a tie-up with the BJP was definitely fermenting.

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