BJP wins PMK, MDMK as poll partners in TN
Party had ruled out pact with DMK, AIADMK
In a major breakthrough in its southern foray, the BJP in Tamil Nadu has nearly finalised alliances with Dr Ramadoss-led PMK and the MDMK-led by Vaiko. This was announced on Tuesday by L Ganeshan, former president of the State BJP, in a Press meet held at Kamalalayam, the Tamil Nadu headquarters of the party at Chennai.
“We have decided in principle to fight the coming Lok Sabha elections together. Details like the seats and constituencies to be contested by the parties are being worked out,” said Ganeshan. The announcement came exactly 24 hours after Ganeshan ruled out the possibilities of any kind of alliance either with the DMK or the AIADMK. Ganeshan said informal discussions are on with Vijayakant-led DMDK.
In addition to the PMK and the MDMK, a conglomeration of regional alliance from western and southern Tamil Nadu — which includes Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam and Thevar Paervai — has already expressed its desire to join the BJP bandwagon. It is expected that a final picture about the BJP-led alliance would emerge after Pongal, the Tamil agricultural festival which falls on January 14.
Both the PMK and the MDMK are not strangers to the BJP. The parties were constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from 1998 to 2004 and had representatives in the Union Council of Ministers led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Though both the parties had left the NDA fold in 2004, political observers are unanimous in their view that there exists a “good chemistry” between the BJP and these two regional parties. Both Dr Ramadoss and Vaiko had welcomed the BJP’s announcement of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.
Both are on record appreciating the good diplomatic initiatives of the BJP-led NDA Government during 1998 to 2004 in resolving the Tamil ethnic issues in Sri Lanka. Dr Ramadoss and Vaiko had pointed out that the Tamil fishermen did not face any hardship during the tenure of the NDA.
Though there was no formal alliance with the BJP since 2004, both the PMK and the MDMK had come forward to condemn the murders of prominent Hindu and BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu by the Islamists. The PMK had supported the bandh call given by the Hindu outfits in the State, including the BJP in July 2013 to protest the murders and mayhem unleashed by Islamic terrorists against Hindu leaders.
H Raja, a senior BJP leader in Tamil Nadu, had openly declared that the PMK would always be a natural ally of the BJP. “The PMK stands for Tamil culture, tradition and heritage, which is no different from Hinduism. We also respect the importance given to family values by Dr Ramadoss,” Raja had told The Pioneer recently.
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