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BJP pushing for allies in Tamil Nadu

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SEPT 24- After 9 long years in the wilderness in Tamil Nadu, the state BJP is finally hoping for another comeback, in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Left alone by all parties in the state after the AIADMK-BJP alliance lost all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, the saffron party is pinning hopes on the anti-Congress mood fueled by pro-Sri Lankan Tamil groups in Tamil Nadu.

congress-bjp-flagBut the party is still not admitting it. “We aren’t really thinking of alliances in the state as of now, but like-minded friends are trying to rope in MDMK and DMDK into the NDA” says BJP state vice president H.Raja.

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Tamilaruvi Manian, a former Congress leader who has made it his mission to forge an anti-Congress front, is one of those Raja cited. He has been mounting tirades against the Congress, attributing to it the heavy civilian casualties in the final stages of the conflict between LTTE and Sri Lankan forces.

BAJPAAYEEAn old alliance partner, MDMK’s Vaiko, has been the first to open up. Addressing partymen at Virudhunagar, Vaiko blasted the Congress, AIADMK and DMK but was all praise for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the BJP. “The Congress and DMK have to share blame for the high casualties in the Sri Lankan war. It was BJP under Vajpayee which alone helped the Tamils” he says.

He also closed doors on a possible alliance with AIADMK, saying the party “backstabbed us in our earlier alliance efforts.” MDMK insiders say this is a clear sign that the party was warm to the feelers from BJP for an electoral truck. “We are surely going to be with the NDA, but things would be official only after a couple of months” says a high level source in the party.

“We are the alternative to the Congress, which is anti-Tamil. We will galvanise the youth-student upswell in support of Narendra Modi with the Tiruchi meet on September 26,” says Raja.

120326061730_Vijayakanth-1DMDK leader Vijayakanth is more circumspect. He is being wooed by the Congress, BJP and the Left as well and sources say he will postpone his alliance plans till the last few months of the general elections to see which way the wind blows. Vijayakanth has made it clear that he is in no hurry to decide. “First, I would conduct a major conference of my cadre and all alliance decisions will depend on their wishes,” he declared at the 9th anniversary meet of his party at Tuticorin on 22 September.

Since the DMK has reconciled itself to be with the Congress, the UPA is intact in the state, with a possible addition of DMDK.

But the BJP is desperate to rope in alliance partners or celebrity supporters like actor Rajinikanth for a turnaround. “The party, and more particularly Modi, is looking to strengthen ourselves here. We have proved in 1998 and 1999 that we can swing seats with an alliance. The minority votes hadn’t played any significant role in those elections” claims Raja.

As of now, the two biggies in Tamil Nadu, the DMK and AIADMK, remain clear that they will not venture into any pre-poll alliance with the BJP, apparently fearing a consolidation of minority votes against them. But sources in both do not rule out post-poll adjustments.