Playing down protests from its Tamil Nadu alliance partners over participation of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa in Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, the BJP Friday suggested this would not have a long-term impact on its alliances.
“They have been taking this line for a long time. We are allies and we do not think the need to converge on all matters,” Muralidhar Rao, BJP general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, told The Indian Express.
Alliance partner MDMK’s chief Vaiko Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh to register his protest against Rajapaksa’s participation in the ceremony, to be held on Monday.
Apprehending that the competitive politics among parties in Tamil Nadu over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue may lead to top alliance leaders skipping the ceremony, Rao indicated the party will try to reason with them — but only up to a point.
“We will try to convince them about our intentions of inviting and engaging with Sri Lanka. It should not be taken as conceding ground (on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue). We will like to have them at the ceremony as our alliance partners. But we will try to convince them on the above lines only,” Rao said.