Tap­ping 5 states in south key to BJP’S plan

The Indian Express - - THE SECOND PAGE -

and even break lo­cal par­ties.

“The sit­u­a­tion is fluid in Tamil Nadu. Although the in­ter­nal cri­sis in AIADMK has left the party in a dis­ar­ray, the DMK is not in a po­si­tion to take ad­van­tage of it. Be­cause, un­like in the past, when peo­ple in the state tol­er­ated cor­rup­tion un­der J Jay­alalithaa or M Karunanidhi, to­day’s pop­u­la­tion is in no mood to see the cor­rupt in power. They want to get rid of them. M K Stalin is not even mak­ing an at­tempt to stand against cor­rup­tion,” said P Muralidhar Rao, BJP Gen­eral Sec­re­tary in charge of Tamil Nadu and Kar­nataka.

The BJP’S rea­son­ing is that as the Congress is un­likely to emerge strong any­time soon, the BJP could be­come the al­ter­na­tive, by de­fault, if not by de­sign. But that’s eas­ier said than done. For the time be­ing, though, the party lead­er­ship doesn’t want to rock any boat ahead of the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in which the NDA re­quires sup­port of an un­di­vided AIADMK.

BJP lead­ers be­lieve that rop­ing in a pop­u­lar film star into the party struc­ture in the state — where cine artists have made it big in elec­toral pol­i­tics — will help script its suc­cess. The BJP’S plan to get Ra­jnikanth hasn’t quite been a suc­cess. The su­per­star’s meet­ing with BJP can­di­date in R K Na­gar by­polls Gan­gai Amaran re­freshed such spec­u­la­tion — but sources said the party had other pop­u­lar stars like Vishal and Vi­jay also in mind. “A pop­u­lar star at the lead­er­ship po­si­tion can change the sit­u­a­tion dra­mat­i­cally. Get­ting one of them at the helm of af­fairs is one of our plans,” said a party leader fa­mil­iar with the state unit.

In neigh­bour­ing Ker­ala, the BJP’S cal­cu­la­tion is that the fall of the Congress at the na­tional level will has­ten its de­cline in the state. And the fight within the rul­ing CPI(M)-LED LDF will also help. “The mi­nor­ity or the de­mog­ra­phy no longer re­main a chal­lenge to the BJP in its elec­toral per­for­mance,”

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