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Eye on TN, Sushma to study Lankan Tamils' rehabilitation

By A Correspondent
October 19, 2010 17:37 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari has his eyes set on the 2011 Tamil Nadu assembly elections and is already making plans to reach out to the public in south India.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj along with a high-level BJP delegation may visit Sri Lanka in December to study the rehabilitation work undertaken in the country's northeastern provinces for the betterment of the minority Tamils. Talking to a select group of mediapersons from Tamil Nadu in Delhi on Tuesday, Gadkari confirmed that Swaraj has received an invite to Sri Lanka but the visit needed a go-ahead from the Centre. A senior official from the external affairs ministry will accompany the BJP leaders, including two senior leaders from Tamil Nadu, on this trip.

During his interaction with Tamil Nadu correspondents working in Delhi, Gadkari announced his plans to visit Chennai on January 29, 2011, to lead a protest against educational reservations. Pon Radhakrishnan, the BJP's Tamil Nadu president, was also present during the press meet. 

Talking about the BJP's plans to extend its influence in the state, Gadkari said, "The party has proposed to put up candidates in each of Tamil Nadu's 234 constituencies in the 2011 assembly elections. However, the BJP will not form a combine with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or any other political party in the state. It will promote nationalism, culture and make the administration corruption-free."    

Gadkari also said a visit to Israel to study the agricultural and irrigation advances in the country was also on the cards, but was awaiting a clearance from the government for the same.

A Correspondent in New Delhi