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AIADMK Splits With BJP Over Annamalai Comments

The EPS-led party will contest the 2024 Lok Sabha election in alliance with like-minded parties.
AIADMK Splits With BJP Over Annamalai Comments

Image Courtesy: PTI

The AIADMK ended its four-year-old alliance with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Monday and would contest the 2024 Lok Sabha election with its allies as party workers hailing the decision and bursting crackers outside its headquarters in Chennai.

The AIADMK and BJP had fought the 2019 Lok Sabha election and the 2021 Assembly polls together.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by AIADMK chief Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) in Chennai after ties with the BJP reached a breaking point following BJP state head K Annamalai’s comments on late former chief ministers (CMs) CN Annadurai and J Jayalalithaa.

Without naming Annamalai, the party blamed the BJP’s “state leadership” for the break-up.

In a snub to the BJP, the AIADMK’s official handle on X and party supporters posted messages with the hashtag “#Nandri_Meendum Varatheergal (Thank you, please do not come again).”

Hon’ble General Secretary of Association “Revolutionary Tamil” Mr. @EPSTamilNadu. In the consultative meeting of the head club secretaries, district club secretaries, club parliamentarians and assembly members held under their leadership, it has been unanimously decided that AIADMK will withdraw from the National Democratic Alliance from today, respecting the opinion and wishes of 2 crore volunteers,” AIDMK tweeted.

Former minister and senior leader KP Munusamy told reporters that the AIADMK has ended the alliance with NDA and would contest the 2024 general election with “like-minded parties”, PTI reported.

The AIADMK is breaking all ties with BJP and NDA from today. The BJP’s state leadership has made unnecessary remarks about our former leaders for the past year. The AIADMK will fight the 2024 election with its allies,” he said.

Munusamy said the unanimous decision, taken in the presence of top party office-bearers, district secretaries, MLAs and MPs, “honours the sentiments and aspirations of over two crore party workers”.

AIADMK spokesperson Sasirekha told the media that the decision is the “happiest moment for AIADMK. We are very happy to face the upcoming elections whether it might be Parliament or Assembly elections.”

AIADMK workers burst crackers and distributed sweets to celebrate the decision.

This is a great decision. Our workers welcome it,” Venu, one of party workers told NDTV. Another worker, G Venkatesh, said, “We didn’t get minority votes because of the BJP alliance. Now, we will win all 39 seats (in the Lok Sabha election).”

Annamalai, in Coimbatore as part of his ‘En Mann En Makkal’ (My Land My People) Yatra, refused to comment on the break-up. “I will speak to you later. I don’t speak during yatra. Out national leadership will respond,” he told ANI.

Tamil Nadu BJP leader CT Ravi supported Annamalai claiming that the “party is being strengthened under his leadership”.

Eight months are left and what will happen in these months, we can’t say anything today. To make the party strong is the duty of every worker. Under the leadership of K Annamalai, a great work of strengthening the party is being done.

Tamil Nadu BJP vice-president Narayanan Thirupathy told PTI that party’s “national leadership will address the matter.”

The AIADMK decision comes after party leaders called on BJP chief JP Nadda apprised him about the ground situation in the state and sought Annamalai’s apology or removal for “insulting” Annadurai.

Annamalai recently said that Annadurai had insulted the Hindu religion in 1956 and claimed that freedom fighter PS Thevar defended Sanatan Dharma by opposing his comment.

Annamalai even claimed to have copies of 1956 news reports of an English daily to substantiate his point.

The AIADMK, however, said he had defamed Annadurai and claimed that there is no proof for such a remark by the late leader.

The Dravidian party believes that the state BJP leadership deliberately defamed Annadurai, Jayalalithaa and Palaniswami with an ulterior motive

According to political observers, the BJP might ally with TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazhagam, former CM O Panneerselvam (OPS), Jayalalithaa’s former confidante VK Sasikala and smaller allies. There could also be other reasons for the AIADMK’s decision like the BJP’s insistence on including OPS in the alliance.

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