The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had to make the “big sacrifice” of giving up on Tirupur constituency to keep the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) in the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu.
A senior leader said following acerbic statements by PMK founder S. Ramadoss at a public meeting on Saturday, the “rainbow alliance” that the party had envisaged in the State looked set for a breakdown. The DMDK put its foot down and said there could not be any negotiation on Salem constituency, for which it was set to nominate brother-in-law of party president Vijayakant, L.K. Sudheesh, as the candidate.
On the other hand, Dr. Ramadoss threatened to derail the alliance if Salem was not allotted to his party. Sources said he had also wanted either Tiruvannamalai or Cuddalore, which too were on the DMDK list.
To end the deadlock, a senior leader said the BJP came up with a completely new equation on Wednesday night whereby the party sacrificed Tirupur to get Tiruvannamalai from the DMDK and allot it to PMK. “Tirupur was a winnable seat for us. We did not want to give up on it even though the Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi was keen on it. But we had to sacrifice it to keep the PMK in the alliance. As we got them Tiruvannamalai, they gave up their stake on Salem,” the leader said on condition of anonymity.