Narendra Modi made his second trip to Chennai as BJP’s prime minister candidate on Friday, with his engagements including an address in memory of late jurist Nani Palkhiwala and a book launch.
Modi kept up his attacks on the UPA, particularly targeting the Prime Minister and select ministers including P Chidambaram.
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The possibility of his calling on Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, however, remained belied. But, both the sides did not rule out the two leaders being in touch over phone prior to his visit.
Jayalalithaa had greeted Modi when he had become head of the BJP’s campaign committee for the Lok Sabha polls in June. But, after he was named the BJP PM candidate on September 13, she remained silent.
The BJP would be happy to have the AIADMK as a pre-poll alliance partner to bolster the chances of the NDA before President Pranab Mukherjee when it comes to ascertaining the numbers in the post-2014 poll scenario.
Modi had refrained from making any reference to Jayalalithaa or the DMK when he addressed a rally in Tiruchi in September 26.
Later, Jayalalithaa’s move to let her ministers attend functions involving UPA ministers to mark Centrally-sponsored projects in the state led to speculation as to whether the AIADMK was warming up to the Congress.
Simultaneously, DMK chief M Karunanidhi included the BJP among the list of parties from whom he sought support for his party candidate in the bypoll for Yercaud assembly seat. Left leaders also said Jayalalithaa would depute a representative for the October 30 meet called by them to debate on communalism and revive an anti-Congress and anti-BJP front.
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Narendra Modi releases a book authored by his party colleague Arun Shourie (L) at a function organised by Nani Palkhivala Foundation in Chennai on Friday. PTI Photo