CHENNAI: At the end of an hour-long discussions with former ally, DMDK founder Vijayakant, BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Prakash Javadekar, had to be content with “good, meaningful discussion” but without any assurance of an alliance.
With his two-day trip to Chennai concluding on Sunday, Javadekar could only contact fringe, caste-based parties that have very little presence in the electoral arena. He will hold talks with them again on Wednesday.
“During the last 24 hours, we have discussed with many of our allies as to the next course of action. I will convey what is discussed to our party president, Amit Shah, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Will meet the allies again this week and complete the process,” Javadekar said after the meeting with Vijayakant, their second meeting in the recent past.
“After the Union budget, I will come again on Wednesday. All the allies will come before the media,” Javadekar added.
BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan and State general secretary Mohanrajulu accompanied him during the talks.
The BJP had earlier claimed to have been attracting scores of new members through its ‘missed call’ campaign, and bravely announced its plans to stitch together a formidable alliance to take on both the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK.
The DMDK is a key part of this plan. Not surprisingly, party leaders starting from its national general secretary Muralidhar Rao to Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and Tamilisai have been making many ‘friendly visits’ to Vijayakant’s residence and met his wife Premalata.
The regional party, however, with which the BJP once had an alliance during the Lok Sabha 2014 elections is yet to reciprocate.
On Sunday, when the agenda of the meeting was never in doubt, a DMDK release here described it as a ‘courtesy call’. This is not limited to the DMDK.
Despite the BJP claiming that all its NDA allies from the 2014 elections are still with it, the PMK, too, has openly declared that they are not part of any alliance. The MDMK is now part of the People’s Welfare Alliance.
Making matters worse for the saffron party, there were some internal contradictions as well. Some days ago, L Ganesan sprang a surprise by stating that he cannot rule out alliance talks with the ruling AIADMK, much against the claims of Tamilisai and Muralidhar Rao that the party would be become an alternative force to the Dravidian majors, DMK and AIADMK. Tamilisai had to categorically deny Ganesan’s statement and that the talks would be held only with the NDA partners.