Though upbeat over exit poll projections giving the National Democratic Alliance a clear majority, the Bharatiya Janata Party is scouting for more partners, with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu on its radar.
While channels of communication have been opened with these parties, the BJP’s hopes got a boost on Wednesday when BJD leader Naveen Patnaik and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa kept the question of an alliance open.
“We will see [it] in the future,” Mr. Patnaik said in Bhubaneswar, adding that no decision had been taken on any tie-up. In Chennai, Ms. Jayalalithaa said: “All I can say at this juncture is let us wait for the results to come out.” Senior functionaries of both parties had said earlier in the day that a post-poll alliance with the BJP was possible.
A senior BJP leader told The Hindu that in the event of the NDA falling short of a majority by a few seats, the priority would be to find less troublesome partners. Even if the alliance got a majority, attempts would be made to keep all regional parties and Chief Ministers in good humour. This was decided at a meeting between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP brass earlier this week.
The Sangh leadership felt that the BJP needed to counter the Congress in attracting regional partners. “The BJP is open to working with regional parties for a post-poll alliance,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said reiterating similar statements made earlier by other leaders.”