Allies Shy Away from Modi Rally in City Today
By Sruthisagar Yamunan | Published: 08th February 2014 07:48 AM |
The attempts of the BJP to showcase a formidable front on stage, during the public meeting to be addressed by its PM candidate Narendra Modi at Vandalur on Saturday, seem to have crashed with leaders of existing, and potential major allies, all set to be absent at the meeting.
In fact, sources confirmed that the saffron party may not hold any more discussions with the DMDK, the demands of which were “highly difficult” to meet.
On Friday, leaders of the MDMK, the only significant outfit which has confirmed the alliance with the national party, said its leader Vaiko “is most likely to skip” the meeting. As a face saver, some senior leaders may be deputed. This was almost confirmed by BJP Tamil Nadu president Pon Radhakrishnan, who told Express that “leaders of the MDMK will participate”, choosing to evade a direct answer on the presence of Vaiko on stage with Modi.
Vaiko’s decision is largely attributed to a deadlock in seat- sharing talks, though BJP leaders dismissed it as a non issue. “He has already confirmed MDMK’s presence in the NDA. That will stay come what may,” said a leader in the BJP.
Meanwhile, a senior leader of the PMK, with which the BJP has held several rounds of parleys, said the party has not sealed a deal with the BJP yet due to a similar reason. The leader, who is privy to the deliberations, said the party was expecting between “eight to ten” seats for itself and another “four” for constituents of the Social Democratic Alliance that it has floated with other community-based organisations. But no commitment on this front has come from the BJP.
“We understand that the DMDK is demanding more than what we have. No deal has been arrived at. When we aren’t sure about technicalities, how could our leaders share the stage with Modi?” said the leader, who claimed chances of former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss making his presence at the meeting was close to nil. Also, a significant chunk of cadre want the PMK to go it alone, a notion shared by founder S Ramadoss, the leader said.
Sources in the DMDK, on the other hand, said it “was too early” for it to associate with any of the fronts. “More than two months are left for the elections. What is the hurry? Just because someone is holding a meet or a conference, we can’t rush into such important decisions,” said the leader, who said talks with BJP would continue. He also said the party would expect “at least 16 seats” in case of an alliance. This was confirmed by an interlocutor who is aiding alliance talks for the BJP.
Thirumavalavan meets Rahul Gandhi
While the BJP is finding it hard to seal alliances in Tamil Nadu, the Congress seemed to have received a glimmer of hope with VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan meeting party vice president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Thursday. Sources said the Dalit leader told Rahul there was a need to unite secular parties in the current scenario to keep communal forces at bay.