Chennai:  On May 16, 2014, The Election Commission of India announced that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with 282 seats has won the Lok Sabha election with an absolute majority. Indian National Congress (INC) with 44 seats became the second largest party. With just seven seats behind INC, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) contesting only in Tamil Nadu secured 37 out of 39 state Lok Sabha seats. Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J.Jayalalitha, leader of the AIADMK contesting the elections without an alliance, became the third largest party in the national parliament.

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister, O.Pannerselvam talking to the mediapersons on Monday said, “Secret talks are being held with state and national parties to forge an electoral alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, the talks are ‘top secret’ and once a clear picture emerges, you will be the first to know.” Fisheries Minister, D.Jayakumar supporting the Deputy Chief Minister added, that his party’s doors were open to forging electoral ties with all parties except the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). These two Tamil Nadu based parties are led by M.K.Stalin and T.T.V.Dhinakaran respectively.

The Deputy CM’s admission that the AIADMK was holding talks with “national” parties among others was inferred by some sections as a possible exploration of electoral ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since the Congress has allied with the rival DMK.

Dr.R. Nataraj, MLA, Mylapore constituency said, “ What’s wrong in having an alliance with BJP. Modi as Prime Minister has done so many good things for the country, what’s wrong in supporting such a determined man?”

When Narendra Modi, reached Madurai for a stone laying function of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), various political organisations including the DMK and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) protested in different parts of the State calling for a boycott of the Prime Minister.

Vaiyapuri Gopalsamy,  Leader of the MDMK said, “We will show black flags to the prime minister who does not consider Tamil Nadu as part of India. We will show our protests in all forms. I warn him not to come here if he has to be treated with respect.” On social media, #GobackModi trended with at least 2, 50,000 tweets.

With dates for announcing candidates nearing, Deputy Speaker of TN Legislative assembly, AIADMK MLA Thambi Durai told The Hindu, “The Centre had done nothing that benefitted Tamil Nadu over the past five years. What sin has the AIADMK committed to carry the BJP on its shoulders? There is no scope for the BJP to establish itself in the State.”

Anwhar Rajha, AIADMK MP from Ramanathapuram said, “An alliance with the BJP will erode the Muslim vote base enjoyed by the party. In the absence of our iconic leaders like Thalaivar MG Ramachandran and Amma (J.Jayalalitha), I hope the party will not take any hasty decision.”

With contrasting views arising inside the party, AIADMK on Feb 4 started distribution of applications for aspirant members who are willing to contest in the Lok Sabha election. According to an official report, at least 400 applications were received as of Feb 6.  

Chandrababu, an aspirant from the Perambur constituency said, “Let the high command decide on what is the best way forward. As a party worker, I will voice my opinion and if it differs from the decision taken by our leaders, I will take it as gospel and work towards implementing their order with perfection in my constituency.”

“Dissent inside the party is not a new phenomenon, every decision taken by the leaders is not supported always by all MLA’s. So it’s okay to have dissent, after all we are a democratic system and every individual has a right to express their opinion”, added, Nataraj, a Police officer turned Politician.

Poonga Nagar Selvam, tea seller and an ardent AIADMK fan hearing about the possible alliance said, “We are unhappy with the BJP’s governance and as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, there is a strong anti-incumbency against the party due to GST, demonetisation, NEET and Mekedatu row. We will express our views to the party hig­­­h command and hope a decision is taken also to keep the DMK under check.

“There will be forces against us because of this alliance, but we hope we will be able to convince the voter through our campaign says, Balasubramaniam, an aspirant from Nammakal district, while filling his application in the party office.

In 2004, NDA partnered with the AIADMK but did not par well in the Lok Sabha election from Tamil Nadu but Congress performed better in its partnership with DMK. Touted as a major blunder back then, only time will tell whether it will become a winning combination or a blunder again.

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