BJP Distances Itself From Maneka Gandhi's Note to Jayalalithaa; Rajinikanth Writes to Her Too

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BJP Distances Itself From Maneka Gandhi's Note to Jayalalithaa; Rajinikanth Writes to Her Too

Ms J Jayalalithaa walked out of the Bangalore jail on Saturday.

New Delhi:  The BJP has distanced itself from a letter written by Union minister Maneka Gandhi to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who was also welcomed back to Chennai with a note from superstar Rajinikanth.

Ms Jayalalithaa, who thanked both today, said the minister's letter, expressing support and sympathy, had touched her deeply. "I was especially moved by the fact that, despite your busy schedule as Union minister, Ministry of Women and Child Development, you found the time to think of me and send your heartwarming missive," she wrote in response.

On Sunday, the minister had written, "This is just to let you know that I am deeply sorry that this has happened... I am sure this time will be over soon and we will see you formally back at the helm of administration again."

The BJP dissociated itself from Mrs Gandhi's letter to the convicted former chief minister. Muralidhara Rao, one of the national secretaries in charge of the state, said, "That could be a personal letter and is not officially from the party. Our stand towards AIADMK remains undiluted".

Ms Jayalalithaa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi share a personal rapport. But her relationship with the BJP had turned chilly after the then Tamil Nadu chief minister criticised the BJP over its attitude to the arrest of Tamil fishermen by Sri Lanka. She had also taken on the BJP over the invitation to Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the PM's swearing-in ceremony in May.

On Saturday, Ms Jayalalithaa walked out of the Bangalore jail, where she been incarcerated for over two weeks after being convicted for owning assets disproportionate to her income. The Supreme Court had given her reprieve on October 17, to the delight of thousands of her supporters. (Read: On a Day of Hope and Drama, Jayalalithaa Walks Out of Bangalore Jail)

Neighbour Rajinikanth had also expressed happiness to see her back. "I am very glad to have you back in Poes Garden. Praying for good times for you. Always wishing you well for good health and peace," the actor wrote to her.

Rajinikanth's gesture towards Jayalalithaa, political analysts say, literally turns down BJP's attempts to woo Rajinikanth into its fold in a bid to use his popularity to make political inroads in Tamilnadu in the 2016 assembly polls.

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