CHENNAI: As the dust settled over the DMDK’s decision to align with the four-party People’s Welfare Alliance spurning attempts by others, including the BJP, it has now emerged that it was the regional party’s insistence on not being within the NDA fold that eventually broke the attempts to stitch together a coalition.
According to well-placed sources in the BJP high command, DMDK negotiators suggested that a new name be coined for a grand alliance that would include the BJP. Using this, Vijayakant was aiming to co-opt other parties that were not part of the NDA. However, being the leader of the NDA at the Centre and also in several states across the country, subsuming the NDA into a new entity was a demand the BJP could ill afford to meet.
Another demand was to declare Vijayakant as the chief ministerial candidate. Though the BJP had taken the position that the NDA would not project anyone as CM, the party was okay with taking a relook. But creating a new entity remained a major sticky point.
Despite the disappointment, the BJP is in no mood to take a sharp position on Vijayakant, pointing out that his party has bitterly criticised the DMK and the AIADMK so far, but not the BJP.
The morning after, the BJP cranked up its poll machinery, holding a series of internal meetings, conducting counseling for ticket aspirants and opening talks with a few fringe outfits.
Meanwhile, expelled DMK leader M K Alagiri added a twist to the political scene, calling on his father and party president M Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence on Thursday.
Since his expulsion almost exactly two years ago, Alagiri has met his ailing mother, Dayaluammal, several times. But Karunanidhi was almost always absent whenever the mercurial elder son paid a visit. On Thursday, however, the father was at home, by accident or design, when Alagiri landed at the doorsteps.
Sources told Express that his younger brother and bugbear M K Stalin was at Anna Arivalayam when Alagiri visited Gopalapuram. On the advice of his sister Selvi and other family members, he went upstairs to meet Karunanidhi and came down before late. This understandably set off a flurry of rumours about Alagiri being brought back into the fold of the kazhagam and kudumbam, especially since its attempts to woo the DMDK ahead of the election failed miserably.
Adding more spice to the family drama, Alagiri’s son Durai Dhayanidhi Alagiri chipped in with a social media post: ‘“Went to make amends with my father with absolutely no agenda to it. Father being the operative word here” - MK Alagiri”’ he tweeted, clearly distancing Stalin from the patch up efforts.
However, Stalin maintained that the meeting was personal and not political. “Please don’t speculate on this and create confusion,” Stalin requested the media later in the day.
Alagiri was expelled from the party on March 25, 2014 for ‘bringing disrepute to the party and its leadership’ even after being suspended. The expulsion was the culmination of the pitched succession battle within the DMK between Alagiri and Stalin.