Vaiko-Alagiri meet leads to alliance speculations

Utilising the isolation of M K Alagiri in his own party, and also his strength in southern region, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko in Tamil Nadu on Sunday met the suspended DMK leader at his residence in Madurai and sought his support for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls.

The MDMK is an electoral partner of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the Lok Sabha polls. In its drive to make more friends in Tamil Nadu, the BJP is reaching out to DMK leader M Karunanidhi’s estranged older son M K Alagiri, who has come out in support of Narendra Modi.

The meeting, which lasted for about 45 minutes, holds significance as DMK leaders were worried about the poll strategy to be adopted by Alagiri after his suspension from the party.

Later, talking to reporters, Vaiko and Alagiri alleged that DMK high command had made malicious charges against them. Vaiko told reporters that he had met Alagiri at the airport here recently. “Alagiri is a good friend and long associate of mine and had invited me to his house. I met him at his house today and requested him to support MDMK candidates in the Lok Sabha elections,” Vaiko said.

Alagiri also said that Vaiko had sought his support. He said he would consult his supporters and take a decision.

The BJP in Tamil Nadu had recently described Alagiri as an “important person” who would help the party in the polls.

The 63-year-old claims to have a strong support base in southern Tamil Nadu, which became apparent when in the 2001 Assembly elections rebels fielded by him scuttled the victory of around 30 DMK candidates.

Karunanidhi, the 89-year-old head of the DMK, suspended his elder son in January and has now banned party workers from associating with him.

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