The AIADMK, on September 25, announced its decision to snap ties with the BJP and withdraw from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Amid recent strains with the BJP State leadership, a decision to this effect was taken “unanimously” at a high-level meeting of the AIADMK’s district secretaries, headquarters secretaries, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Chennai. Party functionaries burst firecrackers to celebrate the severance of ties with the BJP.
To get today’s top stories from the State in your inbox, subscribe to our Tamil Nadu Today newsletter
Reading out a resolution adopted at the hour-long meeting, chaired by party general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami, senior leader K.P. Munusamy told journalists that for the last one year, the State leadership of the BJP had been “deliberately, in a planned manner and with motive, defaming” icons of the party such as former Chief Ministers C.N. Annadurai and Jayalalithaa and “criticising” policies of the party.
Even though the resolution did not name any leader, it was obvious that the party alluded to Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai.
The decision had been taken in “deference to the thought, desire, and sentiments” of the party workers, the resolution stated, pointing out that the State leadership of the BJP had been “belittling” the golden jubilee meet of the AIADMK held in Madurai last month, and “denigrating” Mr. Palaniswami, creating an “atmosphere of turbulence” among the party workers and office-bearers.
Mr. Munusamy also announced that his party would form a coalition to face the Lok Sabha election, scheduled for April-May 2024.
The development followed the declaration by the party’s organisation secretary, D. Jayakumar, on September 18 that the BJP was no longer its ally. However, he had hastened to add then that the alliance would be decided at the time of the election. Four days later, a delegation of the AIADMK went to New Delhi, and interacted with senior leaders of the BJP.
Even though the AIADMK’s relationship with Mr. Annamalai had not been smooth for more than a year, the latter’s observations on Annadurai a couple of weeks ago had provoked the latest round of spat between the two parties. In the elections to urban local bodies in February 2022, the BJP and the AIADMK contested separately.