In a significant development, Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK has announced its decision to sever ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
This decision comes just months before the upcoming national election and is a result of a heated disagreement regarding comments made by the BJP’s state leader, K Annamalai.
The AIADMK’s decision was made after a unanimous resolution was passed at a meeting of MPs, MLAs, and district heads at the party’s head office in Chennai.
This move has garnered attention and sparked celebrations among party workers, as they set off firecrackers to mark this momentous decision.
Strained Ties Over Controversial Remarks
At a recent meeting in Delhi, a last-ditch effort was made to salvage the faltering alliance between the AIADMK and the BJP.
During the meeting, the AIADMK stood firm on its demand that Mr. Annamalai either apologize for his remarks on the late former Chief Minister CN Annadurai or be replaced by a “non-controversial leader”.
Mr. Annadurai served as the mentor of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran, making these remarks particularly sensitive for the party.
While the AIADMK described the discussions at the meeting as “cordial”, remarks made by the BJP’s M Chakravarthy present a different perspective.
Chakravarthy stated, “Leadership does not relish the idea of shifting Annamalai as he has been instrumental in reviving the party in Tamil Nadu. He only made a remark alluding to Annadurai during the Sanatan Dharma row.”
However, the AIADMK questions this claim, asserting that Annamalai’s comments were disrespectful and cannot be ignored.
Criticisms and Political Maneuvers
The rift between the AIADMK and the BJP had been brewing for some time. AIADMK leader D Jayakumar openly expressed his reservations about maintaining an alliance with the BJP, stating that “Annamalai is unfit to be BJP’s state president. He speaks ill of late leaders only to project himself.”
Jayakumar’s criticism also targeted the late former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who holds an iconic and revered status within the AIADMK.
These criticisms, along with Annamalai’s controversial comments, have fueled speculation that the BJP is attempting to carve a space for itself in Tamil Nadu ahead of the upcoming elections – a state where the party has traditionally struggled to gain traction.
The AIADMK’s Electoral Struggles
The AIADMK’s decision to break away from the BJP can also be attributed to its electoral performance in recent years.
The party has consistently faced defeat in elections when aligning with the BJP. In the 2021 Assembly polls, the AIADMK won just 75 seats, a significant decrease from the 136 seats it won five years prior.
This defeat led to the party’s ousting from power by the DMK-Congress combine. Similarly, in the last national election, the AIADMK’s seat count plummeted from 37 to a mere one, while the DMK’s tally rose from zero to 39.
These electoral setbacks have led the AIADMK to view its alliance with the BJP as a liability, particularly as it now gears up for the 2024 elections
The AIADMK’s decision to sever ties with the BJP and the NDA marks a significant shift in Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. This move underscores the party’s determination to assert its autonomy and distance itself from controversial remarks made by the BJP.
As the national election draws nearer, it remains to be seen how this decision will shape the AIADMK’s future alliances and party dynamics.
The outcome of this political maneuver will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for Tamil Nadu’s political landscape in the coming years.