The parties are likely to go beyond such irritants and strike a deal at the time of the Assembly election

The parties are likely to go beyond such irritants and strike a deal at the time of the Assembly election

The denial of permission by the Tamil Nadu government for the BJP’s Vetrivel Yatra may not damage the ties between the ruling AIADMK and the national party, according to functionaries of both.

In August, the government did not allow either installation or procession of Vinayaka idols in public places to mark Vinayaka Chaturthi despite BJP State president L. Murugan leading a delegation to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and demanding that the celebrations be allowed. At that time, the authorities cited the prevalence of COVID-19 as the reason for denial of permission.

This time too, the pandemic has been cited as the main reason. The factor of law and order has not been overlooked, a senior functionary of the AIADMK said. After all, the BJP’s programme, covering six abodes of Lord Muruga across the State, was to end on December 6, the day of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.

The ruling party’s office-bearer said the likelihood of the State experiencing a second wave of infections was also being talked about generally. It was against this backdrop that permission was not given for the BJP’s event.

However, the two parties will, in all possibility, go beyond such an irritant and strike a deal at the time of the Assembly election. “More than us, they [the BJP] are keen on having an alliance with us,” said the AIADMK functionary, adding that there were certain sections of the party that did not relish the prospect of their party aligning itself with the BJP.

‘No differences’

BJP State spokesperson T. Narayanan said there were “no policy differences” between his party and the AIADMK. Whatever differences they may have were similar to what the constituents of the DMK-led front have among themselves. “Take the issue of quota for the economically weaker sections in the general category or the release of seven life convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case or the Sri Lankan Tamil question, the Congress takes one line, which is different from that of the MDMK or the Left,” he contended. He added that the considerations of electoral alliance were not influenced by the position of parties on a given issue.

However, he termed the denial of permission for Vetrivel Yatra unfortunate and wondered why the BJP should be prevented from holding its programme when the DMK and the VCK had been permitted to conduct agitations. He also denied that his party had been raking up emotive issues and emphasisesd that only Opposition parties had been raising such issues at regular intervals.