Dinner invite causes heartburns in NDA

Things are not the same as they were when Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani were at the helm, feels Vaiko.

October 26, 2014 11:52 am | Updated May 23, 2016 04:35 pm IST - CHENNAI:

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadass was given theinvite by the PMO. It was open only to the NDA MPs, so MDMK leader Vaiko and DMDK leader Vijayakant were left out, says the BJP.

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadass was given theinvite by the PMO. It was open only to the NDA MPs, so MDMK leader Vaiko and DMDK leader Vijayakant were left out, says the BJP.

In a sign of widening fissures in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Tamil Nadu, the allies of the BJP on Saturday made their displeasure open at not receiving an invite to the dinner being hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters at the Chennai Airport, MDMK general secretary Vaiko frowned at the lack of coordination among the NDA constituents after the Lok Sabha elections.

“The NDA has not been meeting since the government formation. There was a meeting for name sake before Mr. Modi’s swearing-in [in May]. We have not been called for anything else,” he said. Things were not the same as they were when Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani were at the helm, he said. However, he was quick to add that the MDMK remained a part of the NDA.

Sources in the DMDK said the party leader Vijayakant was also “unhappy” as it did not receive an invite, especially when another ally, PMK, got one.

The PMK MP and former Union Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, alone was extended an invite by the Prime Minister’s Office on the day of Deepavali. But, he would not attend the dinner because of personal commitments.

BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan told The Hindu that the dinner was for MPs of the NDA constituents and, therefore, Mr. Vaiko and Mr. Vijayakant did not receive an invite. “This is the same for other NDA leaders,” she clarified.

‘Captain’ aims high

Meanwhile, at a meeting in Chennai of the party district secretaries on Saturday, Mr. Vijayakant said he would be the chief ministerial candidate of the party for the 2016 Assembly polls.

With both the DMK and the AIADMK facing corruption charges, the DMDK had a great opportunity to fill the political vacuum, he said.

However, he was unhappy with the “slack functioning” of many of the office-bearers ever since the Lok Sabha polls. This created a negative opinion about the party, which had to be corrected at the earliest.

Mr. Vijayakant proposed changes to the organisational structure in an attempt to reduce the number of office-bearers in the districts so that there was no confusion in implementing the instructions of the leadership.

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