Interview: ‘There was convergence between AIADMK, BJP, now more scope’

BJP is focused on its growth —bringing a new cadre and positioning itself as a party that can deliver and safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests will be our target

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published: August 22, 2017 3:21:24 am
BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, P Muralidhar Rao, aiadmk merger, aiadmk reunion, o panneerselvam, k palaniswami, vk sasikla, dinakaran, pandiarajan, all india anna dravida munnetra kazhagam, tamil nadu politics, indian express BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao

BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao talks to Indian Express about united AIADMK’s prospects in Tamil Nadu and what it means for BJP

How do you look at the developments in Tamil Nadu?

As far as Tamil Nadu and its people are concerned, to a large extent, the uncertainty has been cleared after the merger of two factions of AIADMK… It means there will be some kind of stability.

How good is it for BJP?

BJP is focused on increasing its strength and doesn’t depend on someone else to grow. Definitely there has been convergence between the AIADMK and BJP in the last few years over issues of state and national interests. Now there is more scope to build upon these.

So is the united AIADMK going to be part of NDA government?

It depends on the AIADMK and the PM. I cannot say now. But there is scope for convergence with the party because there has been cooperation with it in Parliament and on other issues.

There were some differences in AIADMK. Dinakaran also seems to have the backing of some MLAs. Do you see chances of revolt in the AIADMK?

No one has come out against the leadership’s decision to merge. Nor was there any attempt to precipitate a revolt. Dinakaran held a rally to prove a political point, but it doesn’t look like he would stretch it further.

You don’t see any threat to the stability of the government in Tamil Nadu? Retaining power in the state depends on their unity. Their survival is also linked to it. After MGR’s death, when J Jayalalithaa took over, arch rival DMK could not take the place of AIADMK.

But will developments post Jayalalithaa’s death affect AIADMK’s prospects?

As a BJP leader I can say this much — AIADMK as a party requires approval from its cadre and its government needs support from the people. It depends on its governance record. A vacuum has been created after Jayalalithaa’s death and M Karunanidhi’s withdrawal from the limelight. Many will make strong efforts to fill that.

What’s BJP’s future in Tamil Nadu?

BJP is focused on its growth —bringing a new cadre and positioning itself as a party that can deliver and safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interests will be our target. There have been some developments and it depends on how BJP utilises the situation.

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