Bengaluru: Ahead of the by-elections to the two constituencies of Vikravandi and Nanguneri, the biggest speculation in Tamil Nadu political arena was over the fate of the alliance between the AIADMK and the BJP.

The alliance, which returned only a measly single seat in the general elections, would have been under a stringent microscope had the BJP not done well elsewhere. But in the high tide of its spectacular performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the central leadership of the BJP was pretty much indulgent of its state unit and its political strategy.

But after all the euphoria had died down, the BJP had started to view Tamil Nadu as a major area of concern for it politically. Its central leadership is very keen to make a mark in a state, which views it with some amount of scepticism.

Last month, the BJP eased off the state president of the party Tamizhisai Soundarrajan from the post by kicking her upstairs, as it were, as the Governor of Telangana.  It has now given the party a chance to look for a new face who can provide the much-needed impetus to the BJP in the state.

The fact that the new president is still to be appointed reflects the difficulty that the BJP finds itself in now.

Also, the party has to take a call on whether to continue the alliance with the AIADMK or not.

Within TN BJP, there are a few who feel that the party is better off without the AIADMK as the omissions and commissions of the ruling dispensation in the state is being unfairly tainted on it (BJP). 

But another section is of the opinion that politically the BJP has not grown enough in the state to venture on its own. The BJP has to ride piggy-back on another party that has stronger grassroots set-up in the state to make inroads in Tamil Nadu.

The problem for the BJP is that both the points of view are true. But rather than rush into any major decision, the party is just waiting it out.

For the by-elections to Nanguneri and Vikrvandi, it decided to play its cards close to its chest and decided to put the ball in the AIADMK’s court.

This was the BJP’s way of understanding the mood in the AIADMK camp. The Dravidian party technically could have kept itself away from the BJP, as the latter has no big role to play in the assembly by-elections.

There were uneasy rumours floating around before the AIADMK formally ventured forth to seek the backing of the BJP. This has set at rest the speculations at least for the time being.

But sources in the BJP camp say that the party is adhering to a wait and watch policy. In reflection of its new-found strategy, its local leaders and the IT cell have been asked to take on the TN administration in a low-key but planned manner.

The party’s state unit’s twitter handle has put out a couple of tweets that carry soft criticism of the state government in the last two days.

“Don’t expect anything precipitative in the days to come. But the BJP will keep things in slow burn till it takes a firm decision one way or the other,” said a source.

The AIADMK, for its part, is planning to carry on with this lame-duck arrangement till some more time before the political situation in the state clears up ahead of the assembly elections that will be due in May 2021.

All in all, the TN political arena will see plenty of interesting action in the days to come.