After parting ways with the Left parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam faces the prospect of losing the support of a key Muslim outfit, the Tamil Nadu Thowheedh Jamaath (TNTJ), which is rethinking its ties with the AIADMK for the Lok Sabha polls over Jayalalithaa’s “silence over the anti-Muslim aspects” in the BJP’s poll manifesto.
When the BJP brought back contentious issues like building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya and enforcement of Common Civil Code in the party’s manifesto, most political leaders from Tamil Nadu, barring Ms. Jayalalithaa, censured it. Even the MDMK leader, Vaiko, a BJP ally, during his campaign in Tirunelveli, made it clear that his party would never accept the Common Civil Code.
However, the “silence” of Ms. Jayalalithaa on this issue has sparked off a fierce intra-party debate in the TNTJ.
Unable to cope with the youngsters’ anger, TNTJ leaders reportedly approached senior Cabinet colleagues of the Chief Minister and told them that she should come out with an unambiguous announcement disapproving of the contentious issues in the BJP’s manifesto. With no word yet, the TNTJ is contemplating parting of ways with the AIADMK.
“If you ask me to choose between a dignified and secured life for the Muslims and reservation for them, I’d prefer the first choice. Even after expressing our concerns to senior State Ministers, the Chief Minister’s silence continued. We don’t know whether the persons to whom we aired our grievances actually conveyed our sentiments to their party supremo or not. Anyway, our relationship with the AIADMK has been strained only due to the ruling party’s attitude,” said M. Shamsul Luha Rahmani, chairman of TNTJ’s Administrative Committee.
However, this situation has not driven the TNTJ to extend its support in a hurry to the DMK. The TNTJ’s dilemma is evident as its cadres, through the social media, had aired acerbic comments against the DMK. “Our party’s executive council is meeting at Tiruchi on Tuesday to take a final decision on this issue,” he said.
Welcoming the TNTJ’s move to reconsider its ties with the AIADMK, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) convener M.H. Jawahirullah said that he anticipated this earlier. The MMK is a DMK ally in this poll.
With a strong youth presence, if TNTJ decided to sever ties with the AIADMK, it will affect the ruling party’s prospects in several constituencies, said Mr. Rahmani.