BJP chief Nadda affirms party's alliance with AIADMK for TN

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polls, pitches for Tamil (Eds: Adds quotes) Madurai, Jan 30 (PTI) BJP national president J P Nadda on Saturday said his party's alliance with the AIADMK would continue for the assembly elections, due in Tamil Nadu in a few months.

Both parties would face the polls together, he said, addressing a public meeting here, in his first assertion over the alliance in Tamil Nadu.

Assembly elections in the state are expected in April or early May and the two parties had faced the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as allies, with the DMDK and PMK besides others being the other constituents of the coalition.

Clad in dhoti and sporting a traditional 'angavastram,' over his shoulder, Nadda said, 'I would like to share with you and declare here that the BJP has decided that in the coming times in the elections, BJP, alongwith AIADMK and like minded parties, we will be going for the elections.' The AIADMK has 'regional aspirations' and at the same time, the Tamil Nadu's ruling party stood for assimilation with national aspirations.

Be it under the leadership of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran or the late party supremo, 'Amma Jayalalithaa ji,' the AIADMK had all along batted for regional aspirations and the party also was for assimilation with national aspirations, he noted.

'Tamil Nadu needs (national) mainstreaming and it is possible only with the BJP,' he said adding the issues facing the state could be addressed with the support of his party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership.

Seeking people's political and social support, he said protection of Tamil culture is possible only with the saffron party alongside 'mainstreaming.' 'Take care of Kamalam (lotus, the BJP symbol) and Kamalam is going to take care of development of Tamil Nadu.' Praising Modi for his dynamic leadership, Nadda said the PM has taken good care of development in Tamil Nadu, and the entire nation in all fronts; be it COVID-19 management, vaccination or security at the borders.

Modi facilitated projects including the defence corridor for Tamil Nadu while the state was 'ignored' during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime, he said.

Hailing Tamil as the world's oldest language, Nadda, who is here on a one day visit, said when the right person assumed the right place, it led to right decisions.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed the top office, a 'safe destiny' was assured for the nation and Tamil Nadu as well, he said.

Be it projects like the defence corridor or allocation of funds for Tamil Nadu, the situation changed only after the BJP came to power at the Centre, he said.

Nadda recalled that Modi had quoted a couplet from 'Tirukkural' to soldiers at Ladakh and also cited the Prime Minister's 'Yaadum Oorey' reference of Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongundranar in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019.

Dwelling on Tamil, he said the Tamil people had a unique combination of entrepreneurship, economic and cultural ethos.

The BJP top leader's Tamil pitch assumes significance as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had some days back alleged that the saffron party had no respect for south Indian language and culture.

Nadda praised Madurai as a 'pious land,' home of Goddess Meenakshi and recalled the link the temple city has with Mahatma Gandhi, who decided to use only dhoti during his visit here.

BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief L Murugan said it was his party's 'Vetri Vel' yatra that prompted DMK president M K Stalin to 'hold a Vel' days ago.

'Vel' is the spear-like weapon of Lord Muruga and the saffron party had last year held a 'Vel yatra' in Tamil Nadu.

Accusing the DMK of double standards, Murugan alleged that the then Chief Ministe M Karunanidhi was a mute spectator when Tamils were killed in 2009 in the civil war in Sri Lanka.

The party gave a standing ovation to Nadda for the AIIMS Hospital project for Madurai by the Centre.

Earlier, when the BJP national chief arrived at the venue of the public meeting, he was greeted with slogans of 'Vetri Vel, Veera Vel.' An ancient war cry, it denotes victory and valour with Lord Muruga's 'Vel.' Nadda, who arrived here last night, was accorded a warm welcome by party cadres.

He visited the famous Meenakshi temple, garlanded a statue of freedom fighter Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar and chaired a core committee meeting of the party.

Tamil Nadu Ministers R B Udhayakumar and Sellur Raju called on Nadda, according to the party, which described it as a courtesy visit.

The top leader in the core panel meet deliberated on constituencies in Tamil Nadu with winning chances and asked the state leadership to focus more on such segments.

He also addressed social media volunteers and interacted with noted personalities who joined the party recently.

On Sunday, the BJP chief would visit Puducherry.

Former public works minister and ex-Congress leader from the union territory, A Namasivayam, had joined the saffron party days ago in Delhi. PTI VGN APR SAT SAT