The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Tamil Nadu unit president PON. RADHAKRISHNAN is optimistic that his party would secure a majority of its own and form the government at the Centre on. A situation would not arise for the party to knock at the doors of either the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) or the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) after the Lok Sabha elections for support, he said in an Interview at Paramakudi. Excerpts from the interview:
What are BJP's prospects in Tamil Nadu and country as a whole?
In Tamil Nadu, the BJP will definitely win majority of the 40 Lok Sabha seats [including one in Puducherry]. At the national level, the party will get absolute majority on its own and our alliance will get 360 seats.
In Tamil Nadu, both AIADMK and DMK seem to be keeping their options open on backing BJP post-poll. your view.
As we hope to get absolute majority on our own, there will be no need for us to seek the support of other parties after the elections. So the question does not arise.
What do you make of AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa seeking to win all the 40 seats?
I do not want to say anything about this. It is their stand. But everybody knows that after the elections, Mr. Modi will be the Prime Minister. People who had aspired for Prime Ministership have realised that Mr. Modi is far ahead in the race.
Don't you think BJP bringing back contentious issues like Ram temple in its manifesto will hurt minorities’ sentiments?
In the election manifesto, the BJP has clearly said that it will build the Ram temple only after getting the consent of the people and getting a clear verdict from the Supreme Court. We have to settle all the problems within five years. Both the Hindus and Muslims are in favour of settling the matter amicably. We are not antagonising the minorities. The Congress is trying to whip up their passion and fish in troubled waters. Every problem has a solution and we sincerely try to settle the problems on the core issues with the support of our alliance parties.
Would you say AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa refraining from attacking the BJP or Mr. Modi in her electioneering points to a tacit understanding between the two parties?
I am the president of the BJP in Tamil Nadu and to my knowledge there is no understanding with the AIADMK or the DMK. We have forged a strong alliance and working together for the victory of the BJP-led alliance. Right from the beginning, the AIADMK had said it will contest all the 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The DMK made overtures to forge an alliance with the BJP, but we said we are not interested.
What went wrong in the Nilgiris?
Some mistake has happened. On April 5, the candidate [S. Gurumurthy] tried to hand over forms A and B before the deadline but his vehicle broke down. Due to this the delay has happened but it is not justifiable. The three member committee headed by Mr. K.N. Lakshmanan will go into the matter and submit a report in couple of days, after which it would come to light whether the delay was genuine or deliberate. Prima facie, the reason given by the candidate for the delay is not convincing.
It is alleged that the BJP candidate had accepted money from the DMK candidate, A. Raja?
Everybody knows our people are not saleable. But everybody knows that Raja can purchase anybody and because of this, the charge has been made against the BJP.