Tamil Nadu elections: Amid friction with ally AIADMK, risk of BJP-Alagiri tie-up

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 17

Amid visible friction with the ruling AIADMK and reports of a possible tie-up with M K Alagiri for the 2021 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, all eyes are now on Home Minister Amit Shah’s Chennai visit on November 21.

Though both sides are playing close to the chest, there are talks of a “one-on-one” between Shah and Alagiri—the son of the late M Karunanidhi and brother of DMK president M K Stalin—in Chennai during the visit. While Alagiri has been looking for avenues to come on his own after being sidelined by Stalin, BJP, too, is looking for suitable partners to expand in the state. Reports suggest that Alagiri is planning to launch a political outfit, expectedly called ‘Kalaignar DMK’ or ‘KDMK.’

Even though observers dismiss the “political advantage” of Alagiri, sources say for the BJP—which has no major political base in Tamil Nadu and had drawn big nought in its alliance with the AIADMK in 2019 Lok Sabha elections—any “help” will be welcome.

Besides, superstar Rajinikanth continues to remain non-committal and friction with the ruling AIADMK party is widening over the saffron party’s ‘Vetrivel Yatra’. Though a recent meeting between RSS ideologue Gurumurthy and Rajinikanth had drawn much interest, the superstar said he had been advised against entering politics by doctors during the pandemic as he had undergone a kidney transplant.

The Vel Yatra is seen as an attempt by BJP to consolidate Hindu votes in the state where its vote share dropped from 5.56 per cent in 2014 to 3,66 in 2019. Apart from actor Khusbu Sunder’s entry induction into the party, BJP president JP Nadda also appointed state vice president Vanathi Srinivasan as Mahila Morcha national president with an eye on upcoming elections.

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