Chennai: Is the BJP planning to contest the 2021 Assembly elections in the State on its own? This was the doubt one had after listening to the party national general secretary CT Ravi, who was in Chennai to attend a high-level meeting at the party headquarters on Friday.
Prior to the meeting, Ravi told the media that the party was strong enough to contest in all the 234 constituencies, which sounded more like an indication that it would try its luck by going it alone instead of fighting the election as a minor ally of the AIADMK that has already finalised its Chief Ministerial candidate.
Earlier, the BJP state president L Murugan, speaking to the media at the party office, had defended the actions of Anna University Vice Chancellor MK Surappa, thus taking a stand diametrically opposite to that of the AIADMK-run government.
Murugan said that Surappa had the powers to take his own decisions and added that some people were preventing him from working independently.
These statements have put the BJP and AIADMK on a collision course since the latter has been making an issue out of Surappa’s alleged insubordination to the state government and had even sought an explanation from him.
Murugan also said that after obtaining Institute of Eminence (IoE) status, Anna University would not have to give up its 69 per cent reservation policy. It was a wrong inference, he said, contradicting the AIADMK’s claim that the university would lose its rights on the reservation issue if it was elevated to the IoE level.
Even Ravi touched upon the reservation issue, attacking the DMK. He said the BJP was not against reservation unlike what the DMK had been claiming in its campaigns. Neither was the party against Tamil language and culture as the DMK claimed, he said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi respects Tamil and Tamil people," Ravi said, adding that persons like Nirmala Seetharaman and Tamilisai Soundarrajan have been respected and given opportunities by the BJP.
The BJP meeting was attended by top leaders of the State BJP like Murugan, L Ganesan, H Raja, Pon Radhakrishnan, C P Radhakrishnan, V P Duraisamy, Annamalai, Kesava Vinayagam, Nagarajan and K T Raghavan.