Founder leader of All India N. R. Congress N. Rangasamy on Wednesday refused to comment on his party’s position on continuing their alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“I am consulting our legislators and party workers. I will tell you later,” was his reply to repeated questions from mediapersons at the party office while inducting former Minister K. Lakshminarayanan into AINRC.
Mr. Rangasamy convened a meeting of party legislators, former Ministers, ex-board chairpersons and functionaries on Tuesday to elicit their views on the electoral stand to be adopted with the BJP.
The meeting was convened after recent statements of BJP leaders, including that of Union Home Minister Amit Shah while addressing a public meeting at Karaikal, that the next government would be formed by the saffron party in the Union Territory.
A legislator told The Hindu that a majority of those who attended the meeting requested Mr. Rangasamy to contest the Assembly election alone. “When the BJP talks to us, they give an impression that the alliance will be led by AINRC. But their leaders, while addressing public meetings and media, send a different message of installing a BJP Chief Minister. That cannot be accepted,” he said.
“We have more than 2 lakh committed voters in the Union Territory. The BJP which contested in 18 seats during the last Assembly polls, had lost deposits in all but except one. How could that party be given a dominant role in the alliance. If they accept our leader as CM and party as major player in the alliance we will continue in the alliance,” said a former Minister.
An alternative to Cong.
After hearing the views of leaders, Mr. Rangasamy reportedly told them that people see AINRC as an alternative to Congress in the Union Territory.
“Our view will be people’s view and a decision will be taken at the appropriate time,” he reportedly said at the meeting.
According to a top BJP functionary, the party leadership was in touch with Mr. Rangasamy.
Nominated legislator and party local unit president V. Saminathan and BJP in-charge for Union Territory Nirmal Kumar Surana on Tuesday held discussions with the AINRC chief.
Union Minister of State Arjun Ram Meghwal along with Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandraskher have reached here on Wednesday to hold further consultations with Mr. Rangasamy, said the BJP functionary.