Palaniswami sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM: Why the BJP needs AIADMK more than ever | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Palaniswami sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM: Why the BJP needs AIADMK more than ever

india Updated: Feb 16, 2017 21:20 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times
E Palaniswami

Prime Minister Narendra Modi consoles O Panneerselvam in the presence of VK Sasikala (right) at Jayalalithaa’s funeral at Rajaji Hall in Chennai.(PTI File Photo)

Ahead of the presidential election, the AIADMK—with or without Sasikala— is of utmost importance for the BJP.

The election for Pranab Mukherjee’s successor is due in July this year.

The BJP-led NDA, which does not have a majority in the electoral college that comprises votes of MPs and MLAs, is looking at the AIADMK to help it bridge the gap.

For the BJP, outside support from parties like AIADMK and BJD are critical in case there is a contest between the BJP-backed candidate and an Opposition’s nominee.

As on date, the BJP is short of 1,70,000 votes while the NDA is short of 75,000 votes from the majority mark.

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AIADMK, with its 58,984 votes, can considerably help the ruling alliance to bridge the gap.

Not surprisingly, the BJP leadership had taken a keen interest in the internal affairs of the AIADMK. Acting chief minister O Panneerselvam, is believed to have met at least one senior BJP minister before taking on Sasikala.

Now the dice is turning. Even as Sasikala is cooling her heels in the Bangalore Central jail, her loyalist E Palanisami has been sworn in as the new chief minister.

The BJP now has to swiftly adjust to the changing dynamics within the AIADMK. It was this Dravidian party along with BJD, that had first announced the name of PA Sangma as the presidential candidate in 2012. The BJP eventually, had to support Sangma against the UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee.

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