BJP Turns to Himanta Biswa Sarma to Mend Ties with AIADMK in Tamil Nadu: Sources



Photo: IANS

Assam Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma has, according to highly placed sources in the BJP, commenced negotiations with AIADMK top brass using mediators for a re-entry of the Dravidian party into the NDA fold.

Sources in BJP told IANS that the central leadership was totally unhappy at the state leadership (Annamalai) for leading to the exit of AIADMK which is a major Dravidian force in Tamil Nadu.

Himanta, who is fast emerging as a major trouble shooter for the BJP at the national level, has been entrusted with the task of patching up with the AIADMK by the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, according to highly placed sources in the BJP.

According to information available, the Assam Chief Minister has used the services of an influential family of Coimbatore to speak to Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) and S.P. Velumani for a negotiation with the BJP leadership.

However, it has to be seen what the demand of the AIADMK will be as the cadres and middle level leaders of the party have already expressed happiness at the exit from the BJP-led NDA alliance considering the political nature of Tamil voters and voting population of the state.

It is to be noted that after the exit of AIADMK from the NDA alliance, no senior BJP leader from either Tamil Nadu or New Delhi has taken an aggressive posture on the matter. While one or two lower level functionaries took to social media handles, they had to immediately apologise.

Sources in the BJP leadership told IANS that the central leadership is aware that without AIADMK on its side, it will be a Herculean task for the saffron party to get even noticed in the murky politics of Tamil Nadu.

It may be recalled that in the 2021 Assembly elections, AIADMK had won 66 seats and a vote share of 33.29 per cent of the total votes polled while the ruling DMK got 133 seats and a vote share of 37. 7 per cent. This means that the difference between the two Dravidian majors in the 2021 Assembly elections was only 4.41 per cent. The AIADMK faced the 2021 Assembly elections after being in power for ten continuous years and also after battling all the anti- incumbency factors. Despite the lack of a charismatic leader like Jayalalithaa, the party did extremely well.

The BJP on the other hand got only 2.61 per cent. Even Congress with 4.26 per cent and PMK with 3.82 per cent were far above the vote share of the BJP even in an alliance with the AIADMK. This is clearly understood by the BJP troubleshooters and hence are trying for a patch up with the AIADMK.

However with the AIADMK in a mood to expand its position in the state, it has to be seen whether the proposal would meet with success as Annamalai had, according to AIADMK leaders, insulted the memory of C.N. Annadurai , the iconic Dravidian leader credited for ousting the Congress and leading the DMK to power in February 1967.

The Tamil Nadu BJP president had also vented his anger against J. Jayalalithaa, who is also considered and regarded highly by the AIADMK leaders and cadres.

With such negative issues and snapping of ties with the BJP leading to more acceptability for the party in Tamil Nadu, it may be very difficult for the AIADMK to take back its allegations against the saffron party and rejoin the alliance. - IANS

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