The word in the high corridors of Delhi is that the AIADMK Sasikala faction in all probability will extend its 122 MLAs and 26 MPs votes to the BJP presidential candidate. This is likely to be conveyed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Edapati on Wednesday.
Modi met former Chief Minister O Pannerselvam last Friday and took the assurance of AIADMK OPS faction. They have 10 MLAs and 11 MPs.
The central leadership, which is yet to announce its Presidential candidate, is said to be assessing the political situation while taking assurances from the smaller parties of the southern states.
Last week Modi had a meeting with YSR Congress leader Jagan Reddy. Similarly, he had met Telangana Rashtriya Samiti K Chandrasekhar Rao. Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desam already has extended his support.
Once the Palanisamy meeting with Modi is concluded, we can easily say that the Modi-led BJP government would have the support of the entire Tamil Nadu political spectrum, besides Andhra Pradesh and Telangana where most political parties have extended their support to the BJP presidential candidate.
Wednesday meeting of Edapati Palanisamy with Prime Minister will be a major turn of event for BJP. And this will be a political victory for M Venkaiah Naidu Union Minister who has been negotiating with the Sasikala faction to garner support for BJP.
The vote share of Sasikala faction of AIADMK is roughly 1.2 per cent due to AIADMK strength in Tamil Nadu assembly.
However, there are other pressing matters that Edapati Palanisamy is expected to raise in his meeting with Modi. The ruling AIADMK is bound to plead with the Centre and also BJP not to dismiss the state Government after the Presidential elections. But now that is a promise that only time will tell as word has it that BJP is closing its ties with the O Pannerselvam group, which could mean only one thing, that is, the fall of the Sasikala faction.
R Rajagopalan is a senior journalist and analyst. The views expressed here are his own.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:06 PM