The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday made a last-ditch effort to salvage its alliance with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) despite its leader S. Ramadoss rocking the boat. The BJP is hoping that the PMK’s younger face and former Union Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, who convinced his father to have an alliance, would once again intervene and put things back on track.

‘No’ to talks

A senior BJP leader privy to the seat-sharing deliberations said that when they contacted PMK president G.K. Mani for resumption of talks, he was unwilling for a discussion as he felt Dr. Ramadoss was not interested in the alliance anymore.

Sources in the PMK said Dr. Ramadoss went ahead with introducing Dr. Anbumani as its Dharmapuri candidate as he had decided to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the State. He even asked other party candidates in Salem, Tiruvannamalai and Kallakurichi to concentrate on their campaigns.

Dr. Ramadoss is angry that the party has been elbowed out of seven northern districts — Cuddalore, Villupuram, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chennai — where it had substantial presence. He continued to maintain that he could not compromise particularly on Salem and Tiruvannamalai as “his party was also given a raw deal in the number of seats allotted.”

A BJP leader added that party’s national president Rajnath Singh has confirmed his visit to Chennai on March 20. The seat allotments would have to be completed by Wednesday so that it could be announced by Mr. Singh on Thursday.

Alternative plan

Further, the senior functionary said the BJP was also drawing an alternative plan to distribute the eight seats the PMK had asked for if the party decided to quit the NDA. “We do not want any trouble with numbers if they leave,” the source said. The PMK continued to be insistent on Salem, where the DMDK was looking to field its youth wing secretary L.K. Sudheesh.

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