Jayalalithaa to Meet Narendra Modi on June 3 Amid Talk of Alliance
The AIADMK leader had skipped Mr Modi's oath ceremony on Monday in protest against the presence of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Officially, Tamil Nadu has said that she will meet Mr Modi on Tuesday to discuss issues related to her state's growth. (Jayalalithaa to Boycott Narendra Modi's Swearing-In Ceremony: Sources)
Sources said BJP leaders have been in touch with Ms Jayalalithaa, who swept Tamil Nadu in the general elections, winning 37 of the state's 39 Lok Sabha seats.
That makes her party the third largest in Parliament, very close to the Congress, which has 44 MPs.
The BJP has a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha with 282 seats and is very comfortable placed at 336 along with its pre-election partners in the National Democratic Alliance or NDA.
But it needs to bolster its numbers in the upper house or the Rajya Sabha to be able to smoothly push through legislation. It currently has the 65 MPs of the national alliance it leads. The AIADMK has 11 Rajya Sabha MPs.
The BJP reportedly also wants to ensure that regional powerhouses like the AIADMK, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and Naveen Patnaik's BJD, each of whom scored big wins in their states to be among the bigger parties in Parliament, do not emerge as a strong political force against the government. Ms Banerjee has 12 MPs and Mr Patnaik has 6.
Mr Modi has, sources said, instructed his ministers to make courtesy calls on the chief minister when they travel to Tamil Nadu.
Ms Jayalalithaa is said to share a good rapport with Mr Modi and was seen in the run-up to the general elections as a natural ally would the BJP have needed support to form government.
During the campaign, both leaders criticised each other as they addressed their voters. But after they emerged big winners on May 16 when votes were counted, they exchanged greetings and Mr Modi assured the state of the Centre's support. (Election Barbs Behind Them, Modi and Jayalalithaa Talk on Phone)
But Ms Jayalalithaa had sacked a party leader soon after for suggesting that the AIADMK would like "close ties" with the BJP. "Narendra Modi is great friend of Jayalalithaa, they may differ politically. If he becomes PM then Madam would like close ties," former AIADMK leader K Malaisamy had said. (Jayalalithaa Expels Partyman Who Suggested She Would Ally With Modi)