BJP to ally with parties keen on development
BJP leader says slogan aimed at creating a strong party base in State
BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan said the party would tie up with parties that are not part of the CongressDMK alliance and which are keen on the development agenda of PM Narendra Modi.
We have formed our strategy for a government. But I cannot reveal our partners and disclose our strategy
The BJP, which once spoke of eradicating the Kazhagams (Dravidian parties) from the Tamil Nadu political map, has now, to put it in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words, opened its doors to “old friends”. However, nothing has moved on the ground yet. BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan insists, however, that a strategy is being worked out for the Lok Sabha polls. Excerpts from an interview: The Prime Minister had said last week that the BJP’s doors were open to old friends for forming an alliance in Tamil Nadu. Has any party approached you as of yet?
This is not about any party approaching [us] or anything. We have formed our strategy, which is an alliance with parties that are not part of the Congress-DMK alliance and are keen on the development agenda of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Has the BJP approached any party for an alliance?
We have formed our strategy for a government with a development agenda. I cannot reveal our partners and disclose our strategy.
There were reports that the AIADMK and the BJP had agreed a 50-50% seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha polls...
We have formed our strategy. Some of them (media) are writing [reports] on the basis of assumptions.
Many major political parties in Tamil Nadu have taken a stand against the BJP on issues such as Mekedatu, Triple Talaq and 10% quota for economically backward sections. Are you still hopeful of parties tying up with the BJP?
Let me ask you about the Congress alliance. The Congress has taken a stand on the 10% quota for economically backward sections. The DMK opposed it, but the CPI(M) supported it. So, these differences are there in the Congress alliance too.
The BJP in Tamil Nadu had a campaign called Kazhagangal illa Tamizhagam (A Kazhagamless Tamil Nadu) during past elections. Do you still stand by this?
Well, it was not for elections and was put forth by our leader Pon. Radhakrishnan. It was a slogan for a long-term plan for our party in Tamil Nadu. It was aimed at creating a strong base for the party in the State.
Actor Rajinikanth had once indicated that Mr. Modi was a strong leader. Do you have plans to invite him for your campaign?
We always invite like-minded people. If Mr. Rajinikanth joins our campaign, we will be happy.
Does your high command consult the State unit on alliance formation?
Our party leadership will take our opinion too and decide on alliances. Our leadership had asked [for] our opinion and I have given my opinion.
Political parties have demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in the wake of allegations that he had a role in the Kodanad estate break-in case. What’s your party’s stand?
The Chief Minister has said that cases have been registered in this regard. [DMK president] Stalin is only depressed and is making all kinds of claims.