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BJP firms up alliance with GK Vasan's party in Tamil Nadu

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 26, 2024 14:53 IST
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In its attempt to forge a non-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, non-All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam bloc for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday struck an alliance with the G K Vasan-led Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) in Tamil Nadu, with the regional party expressing hope more organisations will join the National Democratic Alliance in the state.

IMAGE: BJP president J P Nadda with Tamil Maanila Congress president G K Vasan during an event in New Delhi, on August 11, 2023. Photograph: Jitender Gupta/ANI Photo

The BJP state unit hailed Vasan and said his advice will be used in the coming days to guide the alliance.

TMC was launched by veteran leader, the late G K Moopanar in 1996 after he walked out of the Congress protesting against its decision to align with the AIADMK for polls.

However, it merged with the Congress in 2002 but Vasan quit the national party in 2014 and revived it.


Addressing a press conference in Chennai, the former union minister said TMC, ever since the days of its founding by Moopanar, has had a 'national outlook'.

The decision to join hands with the BJP included issues like welfare of Tamil Nadu and Tamils and a strong and prosperous India.

"Today, economic growth and security of the nation is very important. Uplift of poor people is more important, infrastructure is very important. We are going to be the third economic power in the world. All this put together, TMC wants a government, a Prime Minister who can really achieve this," he said and lauded the BJP and PM Narendra Modi for delivering in various sectors in the last decade.

"Tamil Maanila Congress, as part of NDA will face the coming elections under BJP's leadership," he said, adding he will attend PM Modi's public meeting at Palladam in Tirupur district on Tuesday.

Vasan's announcement marks the first official tie-up the BJP has managed to forge in Tamil Nadu ahead of the polls, amidst its attempts to create a grouping other than those headed by the ruling DMK and the AIADMK.

A part of the AIADMK-led NDA coalition in Tamil Nadu that faced the 2021 Assembly polls, Vasan's announcement signals his party's end of ties with the main opposition party in the state.

The Edappadi K Palaniswami-headed AIADMK had announced severing ties with the BJP in September 2023.

Vasan also indicated that his party's slogan 'Prosperous Tamil Nadu, Strong India', was in tune with the Centre's various steps.

Asked about a ministerial berth for his party in the event of BJP ensuring a third term, Vasan said the 'alliance with BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji is for respectability, for mutual understanding and for the goal of achieveing a powerful India and a prosperous Taml Nadu'.

Further, the alliance was based on trust, Vasan, who was Shipping minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance II regime, said.

Tamil Nadu voters had witnessed BJP winning the two earlier elections (2014,1019) with good support from other states and want the saffron party to earn a third term to ensure economic development, betterment of the poor.

They have 'realised' that another term under PM Modi will lead to economic prosperity and reduction in poverty, among others, Vasan added.

BJP state president K Annamalai, who addressed the press jointly with Vasan later, welcomed the TMC's move.

He described TMC as a 'very good and traditional party'.

"Vasan's advice is very much required in the coming days. We will seek his advice and create a strong alliance," to face the polls, he said.

Further, Vasan has always been a voice from TN supporting Modi, and 'they have a bond', Annamalai said.

Incidentally, the BJP had a stitched a multi-party coalition for the 2014 Parliamentary elections and the constituents included the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).

However, the bloc could manage to win only two seats in Tamil Nadu as the J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK swept the polls.

In 2019, the saffron party had aligned with the AIADMK for the Lok Sabha polls.

Hitting out at the ruling DMK, Vasan said it has failed to implement the pre-poll promises.

"The DMK government has become anti-people. The burden it has put on people-- increase in milk prices, power tariff-- are some has failed to reflect the aspirations of the common people."

He said TMC firmly believes that Tamil Nadu will pave the way for another 'good regime' at the Centre under the BJP.

More parties could join the BJP-led alliance in the coming days, he added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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