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Jaya rules out BJP alliance

Chennai, Nov. 6: Jayalalithaa today ruled out a poll alliance with the BJP, saying her party would instead work to ensure a “non-Congress, non-BJP, non-Janata Dal government (is formed) at the Centre”.

The chief minister said all three parties had conspired to ensure Tamil Nadu got a poor deal on Cauvery water-sharing.

In June, Jayalalithaa had said the ADMK would not ally with the Congress as long as it projected Italian-born Sonia Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate. She had then said her party would maintain an equal distance from the Congress and the BJP.

Today, she ended all speculation about the ADMK joining hands with the BJP, saying the BJP-led government at the Centre was not making any effort to ensure that Cauvery water reached Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa’s outburst in the Assembly today as she intervened in a debate on the first supplementary grants for the year was sparked by CPI leader J. Hemachandran’s remarks.

The leader had accused the ADMK of not taking the initiative to hold talks with Karnakata to obtain Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water in order to “please” the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.

An angry chief minister retorted that there was no point in further talks with Karnataka as the BJP, Congress and the Janata Dal had political stakes there and would ensure that Tamil Nadu did not get its due share.

As a result, Jayalalithaa said, the state was not getting any Cauvery water. Requests to Atal Bihari Vajpayee to convene a Cauvery River Authority meeting to resolve the matter had gone unheeded, she added.

The chief minister said her government had explored all constitutional avenues but Karnataka was not heeding judicial directives.

Jayalalithaa said her regime was doing its utmost to help poor farmers and agricultural labourers in the Cauvery delta areas. But she regretted that Tamil Nadu was being “betrayed” because the three national parties did not wish to erode support among Karnataka’s farmers.

“But in Tamil Nadu, all these three parties will be driven away by the people (at the next Lok Sabha elections) precisely because of the injustice done to our state in the Cauvery waters issue,” the chief minister said amid thumping of desks. She added that Tamil Nadu would get a fair deal only if the state could influence the formation of the next central government.

Jayalalithaa said Left parties should help in forming the new Union government.

She clarified that she was not seeking a formal alliance in the state with the Left, adding that whether “they (CPI and CPM) cooperated or not”, the ADMK would work to install a non-BJP, non-Congress regime.

Forward Bloc leader L. Santhanam quoted from a recent article in The Telegraph that said Jayalalithaa would be one of three leaders playing king-maker after the next general election.

The leader said the Left should support the chief minister in her “new, bold political endeavour”.

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