In void post Jayalalithaa’s death, BJP looks for opening into AIADMK and Tamil Nadu politics

The sources admitted that neither the BJP national leadership nor state leaders such as L A Ganesan have been able to strike a deep rapport with the AIADMK as Jayalalithaa, despite her warm ties with PM Modi

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: December 7, 2016 12:47 pm
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THE VOID left by J Jayalalithaa’s death has given the BJP the opportunity to explore the prospects of setting a meaningful footprint in Tamil Nadu politics, where it has so far been overshadowed by Dravidian parties.

Party sources said the leadership is keen to utilise the goodwill it shares with the ruling AIADMK due to its personal rapport with leaders close to the late CM. The BJP, which has sent Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu to Chennai, would like at least one of those with a comfortable relationship with the party to take over the AIADMK’s affairs. This, party sources said, they would prefer to be either Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai or Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan.

WATCH | J.Jayalalithaa’s Life Journey

The sources admitted that neither the BJP national leadership nor state leaders such as L A Ganesan have been able to strike a deep rapport with the AIADMK as Jayalalithaa, despite her warm ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had always shielded her party and leaders from the BJP. “We have not been able to build strong ties with even O Paneerselvam (the current CM) either,” said a BJP insider.

The BJP leadership has been in touch with AIADMK leaders in the last 24 hours. Through Tuesday, Naidu and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan were seen beside Sasikala, a key power centre in the AIADMK after Jayalalithaa.

Read | After Jayalalithaa: Party built on image may need to start afresh

BJP sources denied, however, that they could use the “vulnerability of Sasikala” due to the cases against her. “With the death of Jayalalithaa, there is not much to proceed on as far as cases are concerned. Sasikala will be a good bet as someone the BJP can bank on for its political ambitions in Tamil Nadu,” a BJP source said.

WATCH | 5 Lesser Known Facts About Sasikala Natarajan

Sasikala, however, apparently never shared a good rapport with BJP leaders. BJP sources felt she and others close to Jayalalithaa were upset that the PM had not visited the ailing CM at Apollo Hospitals in September. Both BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did so but only after Rahul Gandhi was there. Besides, Sasikala, sources said, is conscious that Jayalalithaa never wanted the BJP to get a hold on her Hindu support base. Nor does she want to shut the doors on the Congress by forging a formal alliance with the BJP.

Also Read | Jayalalithaa passes away: Apollo to Marina, her last journey

The NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been backed by the AIADMK and the government fell by one vote after it pulled out of the coalition in 1999. Even with a clear majority of 282 members in Lok Sabha now, the BJP does not want to antagonise the AIADMK as it requires its support in both Houses to push its legislative agenda. The BJP also needs the AIADMK’s support in the presidential election next year.

WATCH | O. Panneerselvam: 10 Things You Need To Know

Ever since Jayalalithaa’s health started to fail, the BJP has been building a rapport with other AIADMK leaders. “At the same, we are keeping options open. We have not shut the doors on the DMK either,” said a BJP leader.

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  1. K
    Dec 7, 2016 at 4:24 am
    BJP should create a situation exactly like Uttarkhand, Arunachal Pradesh - a non-military political coup. There is absolutely no dearth of criminal brains in BJP. Else presidents rule. Else BJP can use retired IB thugs who are CONSULTANTS for BJP for creating trouble in TN. Please follow SCOUNDREL chanakyas principles.
    1. D
      Dec 7, 2016 at 4:18 am
      BJP's strategy should be to break AIADMK using intelligence information on Sasikala's mive wealth which is already in the records of Iyer Bureau(IB). She can be easily brought in line. Shri Subramanian Swamy has already laid the foundation for breaking the party by releasing statement that the party will break. In fact he was asked to by BJP low command. He is a great intelligent person who can fore see everything, though he cannot see what happened in the past, like for example he is still trying to figure out who his father is. Only trouble in TN can bring BJP's foot hold. A special request of all street dogs with cross threads across their torso, please help BJP to start a foot hold by supporting the strategy.
      1. N
        Dec 7, 2016 at 4:44 am
        May be a is a team should immediately be sent to Israel to get advise from our blood-e brothers. They must be knowing much better than Rajnath Sing. I am very confident all BJP höre-khers will take this a cue and act accordingle.
        1. C
          Dec 7, 2016 at 4:37 am
          BJP shud support AIADMK and gather goodwill of the bereft state. Good work will definitely help BJP in coming elections as w india is with BJP
          1. H
            Dec 7, 2016 at 5:12 am
            PM has given his blessings to Chinnamma to be the Boss of;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;PM is confident that Chinnamma who has a clean Image and not guilty of promoting her Family will carry forward the legacy of;br/gt;lt;br/gt;PM has always stood for Probity and accountability in Public Life and In Chinnamma is in whom the PM sees that Person,thus his blessings
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