Amid Unrest in AIADMK, BJP Seeks Route Into Tamil Nadu Politics

BJP sees a chance of striking a partnership with OPS as he already has a working relationship with PM Modi.

2 min read
(Photo: IANS)

As the political landscape in Tamil Nadu heats up, the ruling party at the Centre – the BJP – is chalking up plans to take advantage of a possible split within the AIADMK and gain a larger footprint in Tamil Nadu politics.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a senior BJP leader said that this was indeed a good time for the party to consolidate its position in the state, reports Hindustan Times.

We must actively pursue the possibility of emerging as the third alternative in Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu’s outgoing Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) caught analysts by surprise after he lashed out at the Sasikala faction within the AIADMK. The move has opened a window of opportunity for the BJP which is now ready to put its weight behind the outgoing Chief Minister – the more favourable of the two options.

The BJP, which does not enjoy much popularity in Tamil Nadu, sees a greater chance of striking a partnership with Panneerselvam as he already has a working relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and maintains regular contact with some BJP ministers.

A report published in The Indian Express also adds that sources within the BJP have said O Panneerselvam has been given enough indications by BJP leaders that he enjoys the support of the top leadership of the BJP’s top brass.

OPS, as he is known in Chennai, “took his own time to assert himself,” aware of the “goodwill” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party leaders have for him, party sources said.


BJP Can Give Moral Support, Says OPS’ Close Aide V Maitreyan

Adding fuel to the rising speculation, V Maitreyan, a close aide of outgoing Chief Minister OPS has also indicated that the government in Tamil Nadu needs support from the Centre, but asserted that it "can only be moral support, not political support."

Implying that OPS enjoys great support within the party, the AIADMK parliamentarian said that many in the party are set to back the outgoing CM, but have had no choice but to stand by VK Sasikala.

The rank and file of the party cadre at the grassroots, the people at large – all want Amma’s legacy to continue. At the moment I strongly feel, especially after Mr Panneerselvam’s statements last night, that the rank and file of party will rally behind him.
V Maitreyan speaking to NDTV

He added that state lawmakers wanted to "play safe" and see how the situation pans out. "I have taken a decision with my conscience clear, and regardless of my position, I will continue to be a loyalist of Amma."

(With Inputs from Hindustan Times, NDTV, and The Indian Express)

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