Enthused by the response to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tiruchi, the BJP is preparing to put together an alternative front in Tamil Nadu for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), led by Vaiko, and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), launched by actor-turned-politician Vijayakant, are inclined to join the front, indicate political developments. Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam founder Tamilaruvi Manian, who had a meeting with BJP president Rajnath Singh, told The Hindu that he was given to understand that the BJP was not for a pre-poll alliance with the AIADMK.
Even Chief Minister Jayalalithaa herself is said to have made this clear to CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat when he called on her some time ago. She has repeatedly said her party intended to contest all the seats, indicating that there may not be a major party in the AIADMK fold. The party leaders are also talking of her playing a larger role at the national level.The Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam has convened a conference in Madurai on October 2 to highlight the need for an alternative political arrangement to both the AIADMK and the DMK and has already roped in Mr. Vaiko as a speaker.
While it is almost certain that Mr. Vaiko would not mind sailing with the BJP, Mr. Vijayakant is keeping his cards close to his chest and is not expected to disclose his line until it is close to the election.
The Congress almost brought the DMDK to its fold when it made a promise of sorts to support its candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections held recently.
But it changed its mind and supported DMK candidate Kanimozhi. Political parties in Tamil Nadu are wary of aligning with the Congress as they fear a backlash against it on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue and the repeated arrest and imprisonment of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. Mr. Manian had one round of meeting with Mr. Vijayakant and impressed on him the need to be a part of an alliance that did not have either the AIADMK and the DMK in the interest of his own party’s future.“I am confident that things will fall in place once the election process gathers momentum,” Mr. Manian said.
He has also invited PMK founder S. Ramadoss to join the front during a courtesy call a few days ago. But the PMK founder is not in favour of the idea. “Dr Ramadoss is preparing to lead a front comprising organisations representing various communities in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.