Chennai: There is nothing wrong in the AIADMK and BJP forging an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections as they were “natural allies”, said BJP national executive member L Ganesan in an exclusive interview to News Today TV.
Asked about the alliance created between a Dravidian party and BJP for the first time by AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa in 1998, Ganesan said at first when a BJP leader approached Jayalalithaa for such an alliance, she wanted more time to discuss the matter as the regional party had already talked to and finalised an alliance with the PMK and MDMK. However, a few days later, she contacted the BJP and conveyed her readiness to discuss inclusion of BJP in the tie-up in the State.
When asked about the fact that Jayalalithaa had, on one occasion, also met L K Advani in Delhi and said the Kar Seva in Ayodhya could be allowed, Ganesan said he was aware of the meeting and Advani had later disclosed what transpired at the meeting.”I would not like to disclose now what was discussed at that meeting. May be, later,” added Ganesan.
After a gap in 1999, what was the reason for Jayalalithaa resuming the alliance in 2004? Ganesan said the situation had changed in the country. Jayalalithaa hoped that the BJP would retain power at the Centre.
While some in the alliance believe that the results of the 18 April elections to the Lok Sabha would be similar to that of 1998, when the front won a majority of seats in TN, the Opposition front led by the DMK believes that it would sweep the polls as in 2004. In 2004 the BJP alliance fared very badly, though Rajinikanth himself supported it.
When asked if 2004 was possible again, Ganesan said, “No, this time we will do very well. In 2004, the elections were advanced by a few months. Had it taken place as per the normal schedule a few months later, we would have done better.”
On whether the allies in his front were working well, and would their votes be fully transferred to the other partners, Ganesan said the alliance partners were working unitedly, and there should be no problem in full transfer of votes.
On the decision of Jayalalithaa not to align with the BJP any more after the debacle in 2004 (the AIADMK didn’t align with the saffron party in the subsequent elections till now), apparently because the party lost more minority votes than the gains from the BJP, Ganesan said the projection of the DMK-led alliance as a tie-up of parties which opposed communalism was hollow as the BJP was not communal.
After the 2004 elections, BJP leader L K Advani had said the BJP lost power as it entered into a wrong alliance in Tamil Nadu — the alliance with the AIADMK. Had not Jayalalithaa criticised this statement of Advani then and wondered how many votes BJP would have got without the AIADMK as an ally? Ganesan said he could not recollect such a statement.
On Jayalalithaa’s statement that Advani suffered from “selective amnesia”, Ganesan said he would not like to dwell on that. What mattered now was that the two parties were together in the interest of the nation, Ganesan added.
Asked about the perception in opinion polls so far that there was an anti-incumbency trend against both ruling parties, the AIADMK in the State and BJP at the Centre, Ganesan said there was no such factor. The people were in favour of both parties, and the election results will show their faith in the alliance.
On why the BJP accepted to contest from only five seats, which was the same number in 1998, though the AIADMK was seeking votes on the basis of Modi as PM, Ganesan said the BJP believed that overall the NDA must do well, and it did not mind sharing seats with alliance partners.