Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday asked senior leaders of the BJP’s State unit to focus on strengthening the party in Tamil Nadu and not bother about alliances for elections at the moment.
Mr. Shah, during his visit to Chennai, spent around an hour at the party’s State headquarters and spoke at a meeting attended by senior party functionaries. Addressing media on the visit later, Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai said that Mr. Shah advised on strengthening the party and developing the State.
“He [Mr. Shah] asked us not to worry about the elections or the electoral alliances at this stage,” he said, adding that the alliances would be decided by the party’s parliamentary board. Mr. Shah did not have a meeting with AIADMK’s interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami or the party’s deposed coordinator O. Panneerselvam, contrary to speculations ahead of his visit. Mr. Panneerselvam, however, was present at the function organised by India Cements, which Mr. Shah attended earlier on Saturday.
When asked about the factional feud in the AIADMK and the possibility of BJP making efforts to bring the factions together, Mr. Annamalai reiterated his party’s stand that it was in alliance with AIADMK as a party and not individual leaders. He said that it was for the AIADMK to decide who would head the party.
He said the social media wing of Tamil Nadu BJP presented a memorandum to Union Home Minister, detailing what he termed as the attack on its cadre by the DMK through foisting of cases. He added that the party leaders also briefed Mr. Shah on the recent bomb blast in Coimbatore and the alleged lapses in handling the case by the State government.