Chennai, Dec 7: Venkaiah Naidu was a permanent feature at the funeral of J Jayalalithaa.
While Naidu was part of the discussions at Apollo Hospital where O Paneerselvam was told to take over as Chief Minister, it is now to be seen what role the BJP would play in Tamil Nadu politics.
It is clear that the BJP will now have to speak with Sasikala Natarajan, a close aide of Amma.
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It will be Sasikala in charge of the party from now onwards.
While Jayalalithaa did share a close rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the fact is that she never wanted the BJP to get hold of her Hindu vote bank in Tamil Nadu.
Will BJP play a bigger role in TN:
The big question is will the BJP play a bigger role in Tamil Nadu.
Getting the AIADMK under their belt will be no easy task.
The BJP will have to reach out to Sasikala.
When Jayalalithaa was in hospital, there were reports that suggested that Sasikala was upset that Modi never visited.
Even when Amit Shah, the BJP's national president and finance minister, Arun Jaitley visited the hospital it was said that they did so only after Rahul Gandhi.
Sasikala is also aware that Amma never wanted close ties with the BJP in TN as it would disrupt her Hindu vote bank.
The challenge for the BJP would be to get around Sasikala.
Moreover the BJP has also not managed to get close to O Paneerselvam.
It is another matter whether getting close to Paneerselvam will have any impact considering the man is not known to take independent decisions.
What next for the BJP?
The BJP does not want to antagonise the AIADMK at any cost now.
Sasikala will be difficult to get around unless she shows vulnerability due to the disporporationate assets case that is pending against her in the Supreme Court.
However the BJP is unlikely to take that route and it would be antagonising the whole of the AIADMK.
The BJP needs the support to the AIADMK especially in the Rajya Sabha.
Getting the AIADMK on board in the Rajya Sabha would make the BJP's life easier.
Moreover the BJP also needs the support of the AIADMK in the Presidential election to be held next year.
The AIADMK is aware of all this and would go for a hard bargain.
The party is likely to seek a bigger role in the centre. The likes of M Thambidurai and V Maitreyan are the persons who would be in talks with Naidu in this regard.