AIADMK Unfazed by the Defections to BJP

Chennai: The defection of 16 AIADMK members - 15 former MLAs and one former MP joined the BJP in New Delhi on Wednesday – would not affect the party in any way for all of them had been politically inactive for quite some time and would not be helpful to the BJP in getting votes, too, AIADMK leaders said.

Since the BJP tried to make a song and dance out of the switchover, AIADMK leaders played down the incident saying that none of those who defected were active in the party now. They had been MLAs and MP at some point of time and were not popular among the local people now to garner votes for the BJP, they claimed.

In fact a leader said that all of those who moved over to the BJP had retired from politics and the move to enact a drama to create an impression that AIADMK functionaries were switching loyalties to the BJP was planned quite some time back with BJP leaders at the district level actively identifying the potential defectors.

The BJP was keen on organizing a public event to mark the change of political loyalty of the 15 leaders to make it look like a mass defection since it would draw media attention and send across a warning message to the recalcitrant AIADMK that walked out of the NDA on its own and refusing to reconsider the decision, a leader said.

While the induction ceremony was planned to be held in Chennai in the presence of BJP national president J P Nadda, when he came to attend a meeting held as part of the En Man, En Makkal yatra of State President K Annamali, shifted to Delhi in a huff due to some hitches in holding the meeting. BJP State president, K Annamalai, was asked to reach Delhi as early as possible on Wednesday only on Tuesday.

So Annamalai, who was busy with his yatra in the State, booked a ticket on a flight leaving Chennai in the wee hours of Thursday. But that flight was delayed by a couple of hours and he reached Delhi after dawn and managed to be present at the event, sources said.

Earlier, the BJP high command was withholding the plan for the show though the former MLAs and MP had been identified some time back since the party believed that it would be able to lure the AIADMK back into its fold as not many parties in the State evinced interest in the joining the front led by the AIADMK.

However, with the AIADMK taking a firm stand in not joining the BJP, come what may, the BJP wanted to organize the defection show suddenly and organized it in a hurry, the leaders say.

Otherwise, the BJP has plans to lead a coalition with small parties that were earlier with the NDA and the faction led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who could join hands with T T V Dinakaran, heading the AMMK.

Meanwhile, president of the DMDK, Premalatha Vjjayakanth, who was considered as a potential ally of the BJP, held a meeting of her party’s district secretaries and announced that the party would join any political front that offered 14 seats (out of the total 39) to contest the elections from the State and also an additional Rajya Sabha nomination.

She told the media that the party had just started work relating to elections and would take decisions based on the wishes of the district secretaries and other office-bearers. It will organize the party’s Flag Day on February 12 as part of the mobilization of its cadre for the elections and then chart its own path. The party was not averse to the idea of going it alone in the poll, too, she said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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