Officially, they have no truck with the BJP. But satraps have been sending feelers to be associated with the NDA on one condition or the other.
On Thursday, the AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa expelled ex-IAS officer and former Rajya Sabha member K Malaisamy for hinting that his party could support the BJP.
“Our leader and (Narendra) Modi are good friends and enjoy a rapport,” Malaisamy told a local TV channel. The axe fell on him soon after, making AIADMK leaders go on silent mode.
“Only Madam will decide after the election results are announced,” a senior party leader said. But her studied silence on a BJP-led rainbow coalition in Tamil Nadu was not lost on many, and her subdued attack on the BJP during her campaign was allegedly to keep AIADMK’s minority vote bank in good humour.
The action against Malaisamy is believed to deflect speculations that Jayalalithaa needs the NDA – projected to assume power – at the Centre to keep arch-rival DMK in check.
While the AIADMK has clammed up, the DMK has made it clear that it was sticking to its pre-election stance of supporting a secular formation.
“We have nothing to do with the BJP for the present,” DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, adding there has to be a request for support first.
In adjoining Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy said he was open to all options and that he would take a decision on supporting any coalition based on developments at the Centre after the results. “Our goal is to first win 25 MPs to be in a position to decide whom to support,” he said.
Former NDA constituent Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had earlier hinted at patching up with the BJP. “We might extend support to NDA it if promises to declare Odisha a special category state,” senior party leader Prabhat Tripathy. This was a day after chief minister Naveen Patnaik said his party believed in maintaining ‘equidistance from both Congress and BJP’.
The People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, on the other hand, did not reveal any shift in its stand vis-à-vis NDA. “We are willing to work with the BJP for the sake of the state,” party president Mehbooba Mufti had said some time ago.
The buzz, though, is around NCP after Union minister Praful Patel said his party was in favour of a stable government to indicate a soft stance towards the NDA. But the party has negated this possibility.
With inputs from Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Srinagar