| Jayalalithaa: Losing favour
Chennai, May 30: BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu today dropped hints, couched in coalition idiom, that his party is distancing itself from Jayalalithaa’s ADMK after the alliance drew a blank in the state in the Lok Sabha elections.
“I don’t want to give you a good headline. I say the alliance was formed for the election and the election is over…. I hope you will understand,” he said to reporters’ questions on whether the BJP’s alliance with the ADMK will continue.
Naidu arrived here this morning to attend the state BJP executive, which will review its “worst” poll performance in the state. The party lost all the seven seats, including Pondicherry, which was given to it by the ADMK.
His remark follows cries from a section of the state party led by former Union minister S. Thirunavukkarasar and general secretary H. Raja — known to be close to .K. Advani — that the BJP should go it alone in the 2006 Assembly polls and it should “prepare for it from now”.
The BJP chief said the question of a tie-up would come up again only in the context of another election and “we will take an appropriate decision then”. “This is the stand of all political parties,” he said.
Advani had recently conceded in Bangalore that people’s anger against the ADMK had cost the BJP dear in Tamil Nadu.
On the other hand, Jayalalithaa has termed the verdict as a vote against the NDA’s performance at the Centre.
Asked if the alliance received a drubbing because of unpopular measures taken by Jayalalithaa, Naidu said it was a collective decision to go in for an alliance and “everyone should take the people’s verdict in their stride”.
He added that if the ADMK government had rolled back some of the measures before the polls (it did so immediately after), it would have helped the alliance.
“I do not want to support or defend Jayalalithaa. We are analysing the poll results in the national perspective. All should draw lessons from this election. We (the BJP) will draw our own lessons,” he said.
Assailing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, he said it was held together by people “hankering” for power and was dependent on the Left which held a “veto power”.
“The Manmohan Singh government has seven unhealthy birthmarks,” he said, indirectly referring to the parties in the UPA, the portfolio-centric row involving the DMK and the tainted ministers.
He also pointed out that the Prime Minister himself had been “selected and not elected”.
The BJP president said the BJP’s parliamentary party will meet in Delhi on Tuesday to work out a strategy to highlight these issues in Parliament.