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BJP firm on going it alone in Assembly polls

Special Correspondent

Efforts on to make it an alternative to DMK, AIADMK: Bandaru Dattatreya

COIMBATORE: The Bharatiya Janata Party feels that the political situation in Tamil Nadu is in a state of flux, but competition is hotting up among parties, its All-India secretary Bandaru Dattatreya told presspersons here on Thursday.

"The situation has changed with the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) winning the by-elections [Gummidipoondi and Kancheepuram]. Till then, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was in an upbeat mood and hopeful of sweeping the Assembly elections in 2006."

He said while constituents of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) were in a "bargaining mood" as elections approached, the AIADMK was strengthening its base. In such a situation no one could ascertain whether there was an anti-incumbency factor.

`In phases'

The BJP was firm on going it alone in the Assembly election and efforts were on to make it an alternative to the two major parties in the State. "It will take time but we will do it in phases."

People were unhappy with both the AIADMK and DMK. They wanted a change and the BJP would work to meet their aspirations.

The party would take out a rally near Parliament on August 9 to oppose the five per cent reservation for minorities.

"We are not against Muslims. But we oppose reservation based on religion."

Rejects charges

Mr. Dattatreya rejected charges of double standards against his party over the Cauvery issue when it was pointed out that the BJP in Karnataka opposed the release of water to Tamil Nadu. "That is why we stress linking of rivers. There must be a debate in Parliament over this issue," he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's national executive in Chennai from September 16 to 18 would discuss unemployment, price rise and cross-border terrorism, Mr. Dattatreya said.

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