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Can BJP’s Calculation Of Piggybacking On AIADMK Pay Off?

The BJP fights every election — be it Taluka Panchayat or the Lok Sabha election — with a spirit to win and establish its rule. Even though the party’s plan went haywire with superstar Rajinikant bowing out of politics, it has not given up hopes. It is going whole hog with its ally AIADMK and other smaller parties to ensure the AIADMK-led government retains power. Towards this, all their senior leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are vigorously campaigning in Tamil Nadu. Very much aware that the BJP may not make big gains in Tamil Nadu, it is doing everything within its means to make its presence felt in Dravidian politics. BJP’s strategy received a major push after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Karuppa Palaniswami announced a 10% quota to Vanniyar community from the Most Backward Class category. This move was to checkmate DMK which enjoys sizable support. What is interesting is that the Vanniyar community has a strong presence in at least 40 of the total 234 seats where it can really change the political equations. Further, PMK, which had garnered 5.36% vote share in the 2016 elections, and has been demanding a quota for the Vanniyar community, is the AIADMK-BJP alliance partner. This quota politics has also raked up an issue of caste-based census. Looks like the BJP is spreading its wings in yet another southern state by riding piggyback on AIADMK.