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After Stalin’s Intemperate Speech, VP Naidu Does A BJP Breach, Eyeing Presidency From Opposition Perch?

On May 26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chennai, where he launched Rs 31,000 crore worth of centrally-funded projects in Tamil Nadu despite which, Chief Minister MK Stalin tried to humiliate him. Two days later, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu went all out to praise late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi while unveiling his statue in Chennai. As soon as Naidu agreed to unveil the Dravidian stalwart’s statue, BJP cadre had opposed the move on social media. Naidu accepted the DMK invite as it seems the end of the road for him as his term ends in August. The DMK was elated. The party’s mouthpiece Murasoli, in its editorial showered encomiums on Naidu over his speech. The paper also dwelt on Karunanidhi’s long and strong association with Naidu. It said he had replied to the party’s critics during his speech. It recalled his comments when Karunanidhi was arrested in 2001 by the erstwhile AIADMK-led government. It was equally happy that Naidu had taken pot-shots at the step-motherly treatment that the BJP led government was meting out to the state governments led by Opposition parties. “If the States grow, the country grows,” he said.  What does Naidu gain by pandering to DMK? He will never be Modi’s candidate for Rashtrapati.  So, is he trying to position himself as the Opposition candidate for Raisina Road?