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Modi's Trichy rally: Can BJP win over Jayalalithaa?

By Shubham Ghosh
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    Trichy (Tamil Nadu), Sept 26: Narendra Modi's rally in Trichy in Tamil Nadu on Thursday is not just another of the series of Modi shows taking place across the country in the run-up to the next set of assembly elections and the big Lok Sabha battle next year.

    [What Modi said at Trichy]

    The Trichy rally is unique for it brings Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa into the focus all the more. The AIADMK is favourites to come out with flying colours in the next Lok Sabha polls (surveys predict 16-20 seats for Jayalalithaa's party out of 39 seats) and every other party is hence looking to win her alliance before the big polls.

    Parties like the BJP, Left and Trinamool Congress (TMC), who are otherwise never going to join hands for a political purpose, have been keeping a close watch on what Jayalalithaa does. The leader, however, hasn't given any signal so far as which way she will tilt.

    Many parties are wooing Jayalalithaa who is predicted to win big in the LS polls

    She knows her politics well and that is already clear from the fact that she hasn't entered into any kind of formal alliance with the BJP even though she shares a good relation with Modi. The willy politician will never wait if an opportunity comes her way, irrespective of what ideologies say. Ask Atal Bihari Vajpayee about his experience in early 1999.

    The Left parties, who had entered into an understanding with Jayalalithaa in the last assembly polls in 2011 and put up a good show, are keen to repeat the same in the Lok Sabha polls. The TMC also looks to befriend Jayalalithaa for she is a major anti-UPA voice in the country.

    The BJP has also joined the fray and wooing parties like DMDK, PMK, MDMK and even reportedly trying to get closer to superstar Rajanikanth to force a reaction out of the AIADMK leadership. Will Modi try to put up a front with the Vaikos and Vijaykanths as a means to 'rattle' Jayalalithaa?

    The BJP's prime ministerial candidate has a tough ask to strengthen the party's base in southern India. Jayalalithaa's alliance is very key for Modi to ensure that his party does good in a state that sends 39 parliamentarians and with the Congress and the DMK not in great positions, the BJP has an outside chance to make inroads.

    Editor of Tuglak, Cho Ramasamy, a friend of Modi recently met Jayalalithaa to seek the latter's support for the BJP leader, but it sources said that the AIADMK supremo will eye a third front that includes TDP. The Andhra-based party, however, has hinted at a pro-Modi move recently, something which the BJP supporters will also expect from the AIADMK supremo.

    The state BJP leadership feels that the confidence on Modi will help the BJP in the polls. It cited the examples of 1998 when the BJP did good in the state in alliance with the AIADMK and in 1999 when its ally was DMK. Will there be again a BJP moment in Tamil Nadu in 2014? Not a simple question to answer for sure.

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