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Salem poses hiccups in BJP's Tamil Nadu plan

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 - 6:06am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

After Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa called off her tie-up with the Left in the state, a BJP leader in Delhi had asked "what does this signal?" while replying to a reporter's query on the possibility of a post-poll alliance with AIADMK. At the same time, the BJP was busy tying up a pre-poll alliance in the state with five parties, hoping to cash in on the DMK's problems and temper AIADMK's numerical strength in the Lok Sabha elections. However, the proposed alliance is facing a last-minute hitch over the Salem seat, where BJP's state unit general secretary V Ramesh was murdered last year.

The BJP had almost sealed the alliance with the party keeping nine seats, Vijayakant's DMDK getting 14 seats, S Ramadoss's PMK 8, Vaiko's MDMK 6 and two smaller parties one seat each, a party leader said. The BJP conceded the Salem seat, which it wanted for itself, to DMDK. But, the PMK has now made it clear that it was keen on fighting from Salem, where the parties are banking on a sympathy wave for the saffron combine in the wake of Ramesh's murder.

BJP's state leaders — Pon Radhakrishnan and SL Ganesan — are expected to meet Ramadoss on Tuesday to sort out the differences over the seat sharing arrangement. Bjp sources said the party was hopeful of resolving the stalemate.

PMK had on Sunday announced candidates for four seats, including Salem for R Arul. Besides this, the party also announced decision on Kallakurichi and Thirvannamalai, which have also been given to DMDK. Ramadoss also announced that his son Anbumani Ramadoss would fight the poll from Dharmapuri.

In the BJP's assessment, according to a party leader who is cued into the Tamil Nadu developments, the saffron alliance could capture nearly 20 of the 39 seats, reducing AIADMK's tally to just around 15. While the BJP is hopeful that AIADMK could cosy up to it in the post poll scenario, a Jayalalithaa with a lower numerical clout would have comparatively less bargaining power. In the assembly polls, Jayalalithaa had got 32 per cent votes and Vijayakant eight per cent votes.

A party leader claimed that with Narendra Modi the NDA's PM candidate, it would give an advantage to the BJP-led alliance in an election, which was not for Chennai but Delhi.
Jayalalithaa, who has maintained a friendly relation with Modi, has made the Congress and DMK her main target. Ideologically and at a personal level, she is closer to the BJP, a leader said. She has striking notes similar to the BJP on several issues like Ram Setu and temple administration.

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