On Thursday morning, reports of a possible meeting between BJP and DMDK to discuss electoral alliances surfaced after Union Minister Prakash Javadekar made a surprise visit to Chennai.
Speculation on whether Javadekar would be meeting DMDK Chief Vijayakanth to discuss joining the NDA alliance was rife, however the DMDK Chief was already en route to Villupuram once Javadekar had landed. Javdekar went back to Delhi without meeting Vijayakanth.
Even the BJP camp was caught unaware of the Union Minister’s visit to the state, who landed around 11 am, and said they were not informed of his visit, according to a source in the party.
Javadekar had also requested that no security be provided, leading to speculation over where he was headed.
BJP State Unit President Tamilisai Soundarrajan was in Tirupati at the time, while Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan was at the party headquarters.
TV Channels had reported that a secret meeting between Javdekar and Vijayakant could be the case.
News spread that Javadekar would be meeting Vijayakanth at this residence between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm, but Vijayakanth’s wife Premalatha told a Thanthi TV that there were no alliance talks scheduled and that he had gone to his constituency in Rishivindhayam in Villupuram, which was a pre-planned visit.
However, it is believed that Javadekar might have met DMDK leader and Vijayakanth’s brother-in-law Sudeesh and Premalatha.
“When he tried to raise the alliance issue with Premalatha and her brother, he was told that Captain was away at his constituency and so nothing need be discussed now. Javadekar had to return empty-handed”, a BJP source wishing anonymity told the Deccan Chronicle.
Reports emerged later in the day that Javadekar had come to the city on an unofficial trip to attend a review at the Anna University’s National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management and left for New Delhi at 5:30 pm.
Meanwhile, addressing a meeting at Tirukovilur in Villupuram district, Vijayakanth said he was "not engaged in bargaining with any political party" and indicated that a decision on forging alliance would be made known.
The minister had earlier met Vijayakanth on Sunday for alliance talks and said he would be visiting him again on Wednesday after the Union Budget session. DMDK had however termed the meeting a courtesy call in a statement.
But on Wednesday, reports that a deal was almost sealed between DMK and DMDK surfaced, with an announcement of seat-sharing formula being the next step. Javadekar had reportedly postponed his Wednesday visit.
The Times of India reports that DMDK chief Vijayakanth could have virtually snubbed Union minister Prakash Javadekar by avoiding a meeting with him on Thursday, shying away from a possible NDA alliance.