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Tamil Nadu BJP wants to go it alone in Assembly poll

All-India BJP vice-president, M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing brain-storming session of the party at Uthandi near Chennai on Saturday. Looking on are C.P.Radhakrishnan, State president and L. Ganesan, All-India Secretary (right). — Photo: K. Pichumani

All-India BJP vice-president, M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing brain-storming session of the party at Uthandi near Chennai on Saturday. Looking on are C.P.Radhakrishnan, State president and L. Ganesan, All-India Secretary (right). — Photo: K. Pichumani  

Special Correspondent

All-India BJP vice-president, M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing brain-storming session of the party at Uthandi near Chennai on Saturday. Looking on are C.P.Radhakrishnan, State president and L. Ganesan, All-India Secretary (right). — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has expressed its desire to contest independently in the Assembly elections.

Summing up the deliberations at a two-day `chintan baithak' (brainstorming session) held at Uthandi near here, national vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu said he would "truthfully" convey to the central leadership the sentiments of the volunteers.

"Eventually, it is for the national president to take the decision on such matters."

(In the 2004 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had an understanding with the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and in the 2001 Assembly poll it aligned with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam).

Elaborating on the "feeling" of the State unit, Mr. Naidu said the people of Tamil Nadu became tired of the "politics of hate, revenge and animosity" practised by the two principal parties.

"Instead, they are for politics based on idealism, programmes, issues and development of Tamil Nadu."

`Negative politics'

Thanks to the "negative politics", development had taken a backseat.

"Here, politicians have started treating one another as enemies instead of as rivals." It was against this backdrop that the State unit wanted to try its luck, going it alone in the Assembly elections. The party would revive the Tamil traditions of "value and issue-based politics" — the scenario witnessed during the days of Rajaji, Kamaraj and C.N. Annadurai.

`A change'

Turning to the party members at the venue, Mr. Naidu said: "Contesting all 234 seats is a challenge you have invited. It is good to go alone but not an easy task."

The State unit would shortly begin a mass-contact programme. The State unit should highlight issues relevant to the people.

"Water is problem no. 1. The partymen should highlight that the United Progressive Alliance abandoned the project of interlinking rivers, a concept which has the public support here, despite the good work started by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister."

The State unit should insist on early execution of the desalination and Sethusamudram projects.

Not in bypoll fray

Asked whether the party would contest the May 14 Kancheepuram and Gummidipoondi Assembly byelections next month, C.P. Radhakrishnan, State president, said, "we would like to devote our energy and resources to the bigger battle."

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