For the first time since she kicked off her Lok Sabha election campaign, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa attacked the BJP and asked people not to vote for that party and the Congress.
Jayalalithaa’s BJP-bashing came as a surprise for locals who were anticipating the two political formations to come closer for a post-poll tie up. She is known to enjoy good rapport with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi; he was the special guest when she took oath as chief minister in May 2011.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister was apparently annoyed by the BJP’s move to strengthen itself in the state.
In her attack, Jayalalithaa equated the BJP with the Congress for denying Tamil Nadu its share of water from river Cauvery and asked the people not to vote for either party. “Like the Congress, the BJP has also betrayed our state,” she said hours before Modi was to address a rally in Chennai.
She, however, did not mention Modi in her speech.
Earlier, Jayalalithaa’s silence on BJP was being interpreted as her ‘eventual journey’ to the NDA after elections. Union finance minister P Chidambaram had cautioned the people against voting for her and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, as they were going to join BJP.
Modi paid the AIADMK back in the same coin. Addressing a rally, he took on the state’s ruling party for not working for the people. He also targeted DMK before exhorting the people to vote out the government in Delhi.
If the regional parties in Tamil Nadu were indifferent to the state, the Congress was guilty of treating states as slaves and ignoring regional aspirations, Modi said.
Modi calls on Rajinikanth
Modi called on superstar Rajinikanth, who insisted there was nothing political about the 40-minute meeting. “He met me when I was in hospital. I invited him to come here. I am happy he is here and I am his well-wisher and he is my well-wisher,”.
Modi paid back the compliment and described Rajinikanth as a good friend. The BJP had been making several overtures to the star who commands undying loyalty and support of millions of fans across Tamil Nadu and India.