With the dates for the country's Presidential elections announced, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has indicated that the AIADMK's stand is set to be formalised soon. According to ToI, the EPS camp is sure to extend support to the candidate chosen by the BJP.
This move is reportedly to ensure that the state government continues receiving support from the Centre. This comes at a time when the DMK is projecting itself to be part of a united 'secular' opposition. On Thursday, Dairy Development Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji had sided with the BJP and questioned why the party was being termed as communal. For the party led by Amit Shah, the support of both factions AIADMK which has 134 legislators and 49 MPs would be crucial.
Over the past few months, warring factions of the AIADMK have been seen competing for the Centre's attention. Both the OPS and EPS camps have made multiple visits to the capital to meet the Prime Minister. In addition to this, they have invited PM Narendra Modi, for several events in the state.
The DMK, in turn, has made scathing remarks regarding this growing proximity between the Centre and the leaders in the State Government. In response to the Dairy Development Minister's remarks, Stalin had said, "We have been saying that the AIADMK government is under the control of the BJP. Now the minister has confirmed that. I thank the minister for confirming our statements."
According to reports, the contenders that the BJP are looking to nominate include Cabinet Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi meanwhile, has reportedly been leading negotiations with opposition parties to decide on a joint candidate.
The election for the next President of India, if required, will be held on July 17. The votes will be counted three days later. President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.