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22 Aug 2019, Edition - 1500, Thursday

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Coimbatore

BJP working to unite EPS, OPS factions in AIADMK

Covai Post Network

Possibly, the BJP is eyeing at a poll tie up with a united AIADMK in 2019 general elections to Lok Sabha

Chennai: After giving a clear cut hint at BJP’s Tamil Nadu plan, senior BJP leaders in Delhi are understood to have blessed the unity moves of AIADMK factions in a move to check mate the Mannargudi mafia as also to make deeper inroads into the southern state that has been an impregnable fort. All its efforts so far to break into the state have come to a nought. But in the vacuum following J Jayalalithaa’s death, the BJP fancies its chances.

Sources close to the BJP leaders are sure that the ruling party at the centre is adopting a multi approach methodology to push the BJP into Tamil Nadu, taking advantage of the vacuum that exists today, with the state’s tallest leader passing away last year.

The resultant tug of war between the two leaders – former chief minister O Panneerselvam and chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami – and the third force of Mannargudi family pulling the party in a different direction, has given the BJP a real chance to make its presence felt. That it is in power at the centre is only to its advantage as the two factions keep running to Delhi for favours – ranging from largesse to immunity from prosecution and arrests in corruption cases.

Already, there is widespread talk of BJP leaders attempting to unite the two factions of AIADMK and to isolate VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran and render them politically insignificant. The serious allegations of five star perks and bribery of jail officials are to tarnish the image of Sasikala and Dinakaran, who is also accused of bribing EC officials in the party symbol case.

Sensing this, Dinakaran has already made his move. He has convened a meeting of party office bearers on August 4 at party headquarters, to show to EPS who is the boss.

“He has 37 MLAs with him and should not be taken lightly,” said an AIADMK leader considered close to him and Chinnamma (as Sasikala is referred to).

According to sources close to EPS, Dinakaran may not be allowed to have his say or way over party matters. There could be a scenario when TTV can be arrested on law and order grounds, sources said on August 4 when he plans to visit AIADMK headquarters for the meeting of office bearers he has convened.

“Dinakaran wants EPS to continue as the chief minister, but wants to take control of the party,” said a camp follower. But it remains to be seen if the EPS camp, in office and thus having the support of administration and police, will allow Dinakaran have his way.

Also, said another senior AIADMK leader, “the prime minister himself is understood to be in favour of the two factions of AIADMK merging.”

For the present, neither side has either denied or confirmed speculations over either their imminent unity or if they would join the NDA fold formally.

“If they join NDA and ministry at the centre, it would not be wrong as Tamil Nadu will get representation in the union council of ministers,” said another AIADMK leader requesting anonymity.

What is the BJP’s interests in this unity move?

“It all boils down to 2019 and then, the BJP wants its ally to be strong and hence the unity moves,” said a political analyst trying to explain the thinking behind BJP’s latest Tamil Nadu push.

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