Tamil Nadu

News Analysis: AIADMK not overtly seeking BJP support for bypolls

Deputy Chief Minister and the party co-ordinator, O. Panneerselvam, in an interaction with the media in Chennai, did not answer directly when asked whether his party would approach the BJP for support. File photo

Deputy Chief Minister and the party co-ordinator, O. Panneerselvam, in an interaction with the media in Chennai, did not answer directly when asked whether his party would approach the BJP for support. File photo   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

more-in

The party seems to be maintaining a distance with an eye on minority vote

The ruling AIADMK appears to be not so overtly keen on seeking support of the BJP for its candidates in Nanguneri and Vikravandi, where bypolls are due on October 21.

A couple of instances are seen as indications that the party is maintaining a distance from the BJP, perhaps with an eye on the votes of the minorities.

The ruling party’s “unilateral” announcement of support to the All-India N.R. Congress (AINRC) for the byelection to the Kamaraj Nagar assembly constituency in Puducherry and its apparent disinterest in seeking, as yet, the BJP’s support openly for the bypolls are becoming points of the political discourse.

A few days ago, a group of Ministers including D. Jayakumar and P. Thangamani called on DMDK’s founder Vijayakant and sought his support. Till now, there is no statement from the AIADMK, requesting the BJP’s support.

On Friday morning, Deputy Chief Minister and the party co-ordinator, O. Panneerselvam, in an interaction with the media in Chennai, did not answer directly when asked whether his party would approach the BJP for support. Expressing confidence that his party’s candidates would win the byelections in the two seats, Mr Panneerselvam said “we have sought the support of those parties and organisations which are backing us”.

Deliberate strategy?

Even during the election to the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency in early August, senior functionaries of the State unit did not campaign for the AIADMK’s nominee, A.C. Shanmugam.

It is an open secret that Vellore has a sizable number of Muslim voters.

Nanguneri too is known for a considerable number of voters belonging to religious minorities, especially Christians.

However, a senior Minister, on the condition of anonymity, said that in respect of Puducherry, the decision was taken at the highest level of the party. As for taking the BJP’s support in Vikravandi and Nanguneri, he said no replacement had been made after the resignation of Tamilisai Soundararajan as president of the State BJP unit.

“This was why we had not approached any State-level leader of the national party for support,” he said.

A non-issue

K.S. Narendran, general secretary of the State unit of the BJP, views the entire development as a “non-issue.” As for the Puducherry bypoll, his party’s unit in the Union Territory must have felt surprised over the AIADMK’s decision as it wanted to field its nominee in the absence of the latter in the fray.

As for the two constituencies, the Tamil Nadu unit is awaiting an “instruction” of the Central leadership. “As soon as we get their advice, we will act accordingly,” he adds.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:09:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/news-analysis-aiadmk-not-overtly-seeking-bjp-support-for-bypolls/article29534659.ece

Next Story