NEW DELHI: Ahead of the government formation at the Centre, southern allies like MDMK leader Vaiko, DMDK leader Vijayakant, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, BJP Tamil Nadu president Pon Radhakrishnan and YSR Congress party leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy (who is not ally), on Monday met BJP national leaders, including Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi and put forward their wishlists and expectations from the new government.
While MDMK leader Vaiko and YSR Congress party leader Jaganmohan Reddy met Modi, Anbumani, Radhakrishnan and Vijay Kant met BJP president Rajnath Singh and discussed the state issues.
Sources said that despite getting the majority on its own, the BJP wants to keep its allies by its side, and even looking for new allies with an aim to have support in the Rajya Sabha, where it lacks in numbers. The BJP has 46 members in the 245-member Rajya Sabha where it will need help from allies to get Bills passed.
Apart from the Rajya Sabha, by engaging with new allies, the BJP is also aiming to expand its base in all areas, where it did not have much presence.
During his meeting with Modi, MDMK leader Vaiko congratulated him and said people from the south have historically supported him and should take care of their interests. Vaiko wanted proactive role of the new government in supporting the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Accompanied by the delegation of party MPs, YSR Congress party leader Jaganmohan Reddy assured issued-based support to the Narendra Modi government saying that “Andhra Pradesh requires him (Modi).”
In a representation to Modi, Reddy appealed to Modi to provide funds liberally in the general budget for building a new capital for Andhra Pradesh as it has been promised in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. He said, “The fact is that the BJP has already 282 MPs and it does not need our support. Andhra Pradesh wants him (Modi). We will extend issue-based support to the new government and wants the government to support the state.”
Though the YSR Congress party is not an ally to the BJP in Andhra Pradesh, after meeting Modi, Reddy pointed out that neither Modi nor the BJP requires the support of any political party.
“Our state has great expectations from you. We desperately need your help to rebuild the infrastructure from the scratch, at a time when the new state will find it difficult to meet both ends,” Jagan said in his representation to Modi.
Sources said the state leaders were meeting the BJP chief so that adequate representation would be given to them in the Cabinet formation.