The BJP’s Tamil Nadu leadership on Thursday said it has not set any deadline to prospective allies to join the NDA, and that it is open to the option of co-opting allies as and when they choose to join.
The statement came from Tamil Nadu BJP president Pon Radhakrishnan, in response to speculation that his party was ramping up the pressure for prospective allies to come on board so they can share the stage with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, when he addresses a rally at Vandalur on February 8.
Radhakrishnan said ‘good news’ could be expected on Friday as far as the BJP’s alliance goes, indicating that the PMK might agree to a formal announcement of an understanding for the Lok Sabha polls. He, however, tread more delicately around questions about the status of alliance talks with the DMDK. “We have not set any deadline for our potential allies. They may come join us before the rally. They may also join us after the rally. The focus here is on the elections,” he said.
Senior party leader L Ganesan too expressed caution over any hurried decision making. “The DMDK would be an important ally. We have spoken with them, and all discussions may be considered to be over. But, the question of whether they will join us is up to them,” he told Express. “We are now playing the waiting game. It is now up to them (DMDK) to decide,” he added.
The DMDK has played hide and seek with all the major parties that have been courting it. The DMK has said it is yet to get a formal reply to its overtures, while the BJP has progressed furthest with the DMDK in terms of alliance talks. The Congress too has been reaching out to the DMDK.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-New, floated last year, also extended its support to BJP.