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 media persons at the party office while inducting former Minister K. Lakshminarayanan into AINRC.
Mr. Rangasamy had convened a meeting of party legislators, former ministers, ex-board chairpersons and important functionaries on Tuesday night to elicit their views on the electoral stand to be adopted with 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 sitting party legislator told The Hindu that the majority of those who have attended the consultative meeting requested Mr Rangasamy to contest the Assembly polls 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 after the elections. That cannot be accepted,” he said.
AINRC leaders at the meeting requested Mr Rangasamy to take a firm stand on the alliance issue as the party had headed a government previously and now was in the Opposition.
“We have more than 2 lakh committed voters in the UT. The BJP which contested in 18 seats during the last Assembly polls, had lost deposits in all 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.
After hearing the views of leaders, Mr. Rangasamy reportedly told them that people see AINRC as an alternative to Congress in the UT. “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 UT 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, reached here on Wednesday to hold further consultations with Mr Rangasamy, said the BJP functionary.