Chennai, Dec 5 (BPNS)
The BJP national leadership which is desperately trying to win a few seats from Tamil Nadu is pitching for a truce in the opposition AIADMK. Sources in the BJP told BPNS that the saffron party wants former Chief Ministers, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, O. Panneerselvam and former interim general secretary of the party V.K. Sasikala to join together and form a strong AIADMK.
While leaders in the EPS camp is strongly opposed to any truce, if the BJP national leadership strongly pushes this option, there won’t be much opposition from EPS for this.
The BJP move comes after the powerful Thevar community of South Tamil Nadu which has deep influence in the southern districts of the state has pushed for both OPS and Sasikala to be together and that the duo and their supporters get a decent accommodation in the AIADMK.
It is to be noted that both Sasikala and OPS belong to the Thevar community and have considerable influence in the region of South Tamil Nadu. Traditionally the AIADMK has a strong presence in South Tamil Nadu but during the last assembly polls of 2021, the party did not do well in the elections.
The BJP drew a blank in the 2019 loksabha elections and even in Kanniyakumari and Coimbatore seats, the party could not win a seat hence the BJP is desperately trying to regain the lost power and win a few seats from the state. AIADMK as such has good ground support and the BJP can piggy ride on the back of a united AIADMK and hence the move.
Sources in the AIADMK told IANS that while EPS and his close associates like D. Jayakumar and K.P. Munuswamy are strongly opposed to any truce with the OPS faction as well as with V.K . Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, the BJP is keen that the votes are not split and the AIADMK fights the next polls in unison.
Dr. Selvaraghavan, a political analyst from Tiruchy while speaking to BPNS said, “ The move of the BJP is reasonable as if the party wants to have a good show in the next Lok sabha polls from the state of Tamil Nadu, it has to have a united front. The fight within the AIADMK is of individual issues and that does not stand much ground in terms of long-term alliances and combinations and BJP will definitely work its way out for a united AIADMK before the loksabha polls”.
It is to be noted that if the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) led by Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran and O. Panneerselvam unite with the AIADMK led by Edappadi K. Palaniswami, they can sweep South Tamil Nadu which is exactly what the BJP is looking forward to.
At present, the NDA has only one Lok Sabha MP which is O.Ravindranath, the son of O. Panneerselvam who won from the Theni Lok Sabha seat. The BJP wants more seats from Tamil Nadu for itself and its ally, AIADMK, hence the move for a truce in its biggest ally in South India.