DMK says no to BJP; AIADMK unsure
The DMK has already formed a strong, secular coalition comprising the Congress, Left, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), and believes it is ahead of its rivals in the race for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Updated: Jan 11, 2019 22:19 IST
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the doors of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are always open for its “old friends” in Tamil Nadu, the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) firmly ruled out such an option, while the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) appeared indecisive about it.
“The DMK will never have an electoral pact with the BJP. I want to make this crystal clear,” DMK president MK Stalin said in a hard-hitting statement Friday.
The DMK has already formed a strong, secular coalition comprising the Congress, Left, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), and believes it is ahead of its rivals in the race for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Not only that, Stalin was the first to endorse the candidature of Congress president Rahul Gandhi for prime minister.
During his interaction with party workers in Tamil Nadu by video conference on Thursday, Modi had referred to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s role in successfully ushering in coalition politics. “We cherish our old friends and our doors are always open for parties,” he had said.
The comment drew a stinging response from Stalin. “Neither is Modi Vajpayee nor is the present NDA the same as the previous one which represented the plurality of the nation. Modi comparing himself to Vajpayee is indeed strange and ironic,” he said.
However, the AIADMK is yet to make up its mind, though there are positive hints from chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam.
Which way the AIADMK will swing is not clear, according to analysts. “As Panneerselvam has been projecting himself as a friend of BJP... he would certainly be interested in bringing both together. But EPS’s remark is indicative of an indecisiveness as the section against a tie-up with the BJP is apprehensive of double anti-incumbency falling upon the AIADMK. However, this might possibly change and the AIADMK would eventually fall in line in the weeks to come,” Aazhi Senthilnathan, a political analyst, told HT.
First Published: Jan 11, 2019 14:20 IST