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BJP faces alliance troubles in TN and Andhra Pradesh

Although BJP president Rajnath Singh is due to arrive in Chennai on Thursday to formally announce the formation of the front, one of the allies, the PMK, is threatening to walk out.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2014 01:11 IST
Shekhar Iyer & KV Lakshmana
BJP Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh,PMK

The BJP’s bid to work out a new front in Tamil Nadu and an alliance with the TDP in Andhra Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls have been hit by fresh problems.

Although BJP president Rajnath Singh is due to arrive in Chennai on Thursday to formally announce the formation of the front, one of the allies, the PMK, is threatening to walk out.

The BJP didn’t win a single seat in Tamil Nadu in the previous election. But the party hopes to ride on what it calls a Modi wave this time.

In Andhra Pradesh, after TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu indicated his willingness to tie up with the BJP in Seemandhara and Telangana areas, a section of BJP leaders, led by Kishan Reddy, are opposing it.

Telangana BJP leaders want more than 50 assembly and eight LS seats in the event of a tie-up with the TDP.

The PMK in Tamil Nadu is upset because the BJP promised some seats in the northern part of the state — where the PMK wanted to contest from — to the DMDK of actor-politician Vijayakanth. What’s more, while the PMK has eight seats, its traditional archrival DMDK got 14 seats.

But since the BJP has brought around the DMDK after protracted talks, it wants to keep Vijayakanth in good humour. “We will talk to the PMK again,” said a BJP leader, although PMK chief Ramadoss said, “A lion never bargains with foxes.”

Initially, it was Vijayakanth who was playing tough. He had even unilaterally announced his candidates and began campaigning.

Once the BJP conveyed to him that it might go ahead without him, Vijayakanth fell in line. The BJP, however, rates the DMDK high. In 2009, it drew a blank, but won 29 of the 234 seats in the 2011 state polls with a 10% vote-share.

The PMK, on the other hand, lost all the seats in the previous general elections. In the assembly polls, the party won only four seats.

First Published: Mar 19, 2014 01:08 IST