BJP unhappy over AIADMK’s seats offer
Though disappointed over Jayalalitha’s denial of the LS seats sought by BJP in Tamil Nadu, both sides would work for the success of the alliance, says senior BJP leader Ganesan
A prominent leader of the BJP in Tamil Nadu said on Thursday that the party rank and file were unhappy over the seats sharing agreement signed with the AIADMK for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Talking to reporters a day after the agreement was signed by State-level leaders of the two parties after an understanding was reached between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalitha and the BJP’s national leaders, BJP all-India Secretary L Ganesan said, “I admit there is discontent among the rank and file over denial of seats we have asked for like South Chennai, Tiruchi, Sivaganga and Tenkasi which we had nurtured for the past five years.”
He, however, hastened to add that the party would work for the success of the alliance now that an agreement had been signed.
Mr Ganesan, who aspired for the South Chennai seat, himself was in the State-level team that negotiated with the three-member AIADMK committee.
Tough fight ahead
The AIADMK has given the BJP seven seats, six from Tamil Nadu and the lone seat from Pondicherry. Of the six, three are seats won by the party in 1999. They are Coimbatore, Nilgiris and Nagercoil. The four new seats are North Chennai, Dharmapuri, Chidambaram (Reserved) and Nagercoil - all considered tough.
The BJP also won from Tiruchi in 1999. But in the by-election caused by the death of Mr Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, who represented that constituency, the party lost to the AIADMK. It was compensated later by the entry of MGR ADMK leader S Thirunavukkarasu into the BJP. As a result, the party got the Pudukottai seat he had won on his own.
Mr Ganesan said that compared to the five seats it was allotted in 1999 by the DMK, the allocation of seven seats by the AIADMK was an improvement.
As regards Mr Thirunavukkarasu, who has been denied a chance to contest by the AIADMK by refusing to give Pudukottai to the BJP, Mr Ganesan said he would be given his due.
Ms Jayalalitha, it is said, not only refused to give Pudukottai to the BJP but also put a pre-condition that Mr Thirunavukkarasu should not be accommodated anywhere else. Mr Thirunavukkarasu, who was with the AIADMK during MGR’s days and was Minister in three of his ministries, was close to Ms Jayalalitha during her formative years, but fell out with her later and floated the MGR ADMK.
Mr Thirunavukkarasu, who is now a Minister of State in the Vajpayee government, has in a cryptic comment from New Delhi hinted that Ms Jayalalitha has acted out of animosity towards him. “If anyone, out of ill-will towards me, prevents me from contesting elections in the hope that I can thereby be eclipsed from public life, he or she will be sadly mistaken,” Mr Thirunavukkarasu has said. He has denied that the BJP has pacified him by offering to accommodate him in the Rajya Sabha.