On Sunday morning, DMK MLA Dr P Saravanan joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Chennai. The Thiruparankundram MLA was miffed over being dropped from the candidates' list by the DMK after the constituency was given to its ally, the Communist Party of India (Marxist). And while this did not come as a surprise given his disgruntlement over the DMK's decision, what was truly shocking was the BJP's next move.
Within hours of Saravanan joining the national party, the BJP announced its candidate list for the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, in which Saravanan was allotted the Madurai North constituency.
Justifying the move, BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathy explains that P Saravanan had accepted the principles of the BJP and was therefore both welcomed to the party and given a ticket. He, however, refused to divulge when the talks for the seat even began.
"P Saravanan is a doctor. We thought injustice has been done to him by the DMK and therefore accepted him. He was given the ticket because the party believes he is the best candidate for that constituency and we will definitely win there," says Narayanan.
"Our cadre will definitely accept this decision. We want to defeat the DMK and also grow," he adds.
The DMK, however, alleges that the appointment was done in desperation by the BJP.
"This shows how desperate the BJP is for candidates. They don't have enough people to field. So they are waiting for leaders to leave their parties and then decide on the seats," says DMK spokesperson Saravanan.
"Just because you don't get a seat one time, it doesn't mean the party has forgotten you. People will always be valued. But if they are not deep-rooted in the ideology, they are easily offended and tend to look for an exit strategy," he adds.