A week ago BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy had tweeted saying that the BJP will align with DMK and Vijayakanth led DMDK in the state, if Stalin is the CM candidate. The political scene in the state was upbeat discussing all the pros and cons of the new alliance. The state wing of the BJP did not endorse Swamy’s tweet.
Talks about DMK-BJP alliance went off air when senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Kashmir Farooq Abdullah called on DMK leader M. Karunanidhi. The next day when Abdullah called on his old friend and MDMK leader Vaiko at his residence, the political discussions turned the other way.
Political pundits termed it as Congress’s move to consolidate the political forces in the state by bringing in Vaiko led, People Welfare Front (which comprises four political parties- MDMK, VCK and the two left parties) and the DMK. Sources said, Abdullah’s meeting was on clear political lines.
The next day Art of Living Foundation’s Sri Sri Ravishankar, perceived to be close to the BJP high command in Delhi, called on DMK’s heir-apparent MK Stalin at his residence.
While Stalin called it as a courtesy meeting where Ravishankar extended invitation for his event in Delhi on March 11 and 12, talks about DMK inching closer to the BJP went high up in the air.
“There is no basis for the reports that the BJP and the DMK could come together to face the election. But we are happy that those who described us as untouchables are now vying for an alliance with us,” Stalin said after his meeting with Ravishankar.
“When I visited him in Begaluru sometime ago, he had promised to meet me during his visit to Chennai. He appreciated me for my Namakku Naame programme, wherein I am meeting people,” Stalin explained.
Stalin’s Namakku Naame, through which he had been meeting people directly, had in fact earned him appreciation across political circles.
While DMK’s vote share had gone up following four rounds of his outreach programme, it had irked the ruling AIADMK, thus pushing its supremo J Jayalalithaa to ridicule the DMK at every event she takes part.
On Wednesday too she took a dig at the DMK's first family with her story about a political father and his son.
However, she maintained, “this is just a short story. I am not responsible for the different meanings attributed to the story by people who are hearing it,” amidst thunderous applause.
Jayalalithaa was solemnising the wedding of 14 couples in Chennai. In fact, Jayalalithaa, after AIADMK’s massive victory in the 2014 polls and the Karnataka High Court’s acquittal in the Rs.66 crore wealth case had been very confident of a massive victory again in the ensuing polls by going it alone like in 2014.
The AIADMK’s vote share had touched a whopping 44 per cent in the last few years. “Since they (the opposition) cannot withstand our growth, they malign us. This is the yardstick of our growth,” Jayalalithaa urged her cadres to draw strength from criticism.
The BJP, which had been struggling hard to find its place in the state, had already sent feelers to the AIADMK. Again Amit Shah’s visit to the Tamil Nadu in the recent months and Modi’s Coimbatore rally were clear indicators of how the saffron party had been trying hard to form a strong alliance for the upcoming polls.
Modi’s was in fact a morale booster for the party cadre. But Jayalalithaa’s stubborn nature and the party’s popularity have pushed the BJP to look for an ally in DMK too.
Sources in the DMK say that the BJP has already sent feelers to Karunanidhi on a possible alliance.
On the other hand the Congress has no options left, but to go with its long term ally DMK. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is all set to call on Karunanidhi at the latter’s residence on February 13th, wherein a deal between the DMK and the Congress is likely to be clinched.