BJP plans big in Tamil Nadu

Monday 15th December 2014 11:13 EST

Chennai: Talks are on with several persons, including politicians, to join the party in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah during his December 20 visit to Tamil Nadu, party's state unit said. BJP president Amit Shah will address his maiden public meeting at Maraimalai Nagar after taking over as party chief on December 20.

He would also chair a brain storming session of party workers on Dec 21 at party headquarters "Kamalalayam" here. A top party state office-bearer confirmed that efforts are on to rope in prominent citizens with a clean image from several walks of life, including politics.

"We are, however, not in a hurry. We want persons with a commitment to probity in public life to strengthen the hands of Modi in Tamil Nadu," he said. Talks are on with "several persons," including noted functionaries of rival parties, he said, but declined to divulge further details.

Party workers from all 32 districts are expected to turn up for the meeting to make it a "grand success."

As part of its growth plans, the state BJP is chasing an ambitious target of one crore membership as decided in it's general council meet here last month, State vice-president M Chakravarthy said. "The party has crossed 1000,000 membership," he said. The Saffron party, in its meet, also fixed a target of winning "122 plus" seats in the 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls to storm to power in the state.

Though it has high ambitions, BJP in Tamil Nadu has a long way to go as its organisational presence is comparatively strong only in Kanyakumari, Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts.

BJP witnessed its first setback after the Lok Sabha polls with MDMK chief Vaiko walking out of the alliance on December 3. Though PMK stays with it, the BJP and Ramadoss-led parties do not see eye to eye on most issues.

PMK's accusations against the BJP include "imposition of Hindi, Hindutva and Sanskrit."

Without mincing words, PMK has also made it clear that BJP can be a part of a front to be led by it for the 2016 polls if it agrees to be a junior partner. DMDK is also likely to take a formal stance on its position vis-a-vis BJP and 2016 Assembly polls at its general council meeting next month in Coimbatore. Party men want their party to "lead any alternative front," for the Assembly elections in 2016. In this scenario, BJP hopes it will still be able to find its "own space" and "fill the void" as Dravidian majors AIADMK and DMK stand accused of graft charges.

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