BJP to hold “institution” over individual in AIADMK faction fight

Speaking to The Hindu, BJP State general secretary in-charge C. T. Ravi said that his visit to both Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami a day ago was done “in the interest of Tamil Nadu”.

Updated - February 06, 2023 01:32 pm IST

Published - February 04, 2023 02:44 pm IST - NEW DELHI

C. T. Ravi. File

C. T. Ravi. File | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

BJP general secretary in-charge for Tamil Nadu C. T. Ravi described his and the party’s Tamil Nadu unit chief K. Annamalai’s visits to leaders of both the factions of the AIADMK, former Chief Ministers O. Panneerselvam and Edapaddi K. Palaniswami as an “effort” to unite the factions, but that the party would prioritise “institution” over individuals if things don’t work out between the two.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ravi said that his visit to both Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami a day ago was done “in the interest of Tamil Nadu”. A bypoll to the Erode East constituency is due later this month, and the BJP was of the view that the AIADMK should unite all factions to fight the poll.

“We, the BJP, feel that the anti-incumbency against the DMK will split if there is no sense of unity behind the AIADMK’s candidate and we felt we needed to convey this to both leaders,” said Mr. Ravi. The last date of filing nominations is February 7th with the Supreme Court having mandated that the candidate should be decided by the general council of the AIADMK, as a one time exception till matters related to the party organisation, being fought in the Apex Court are decided.

Mr. Ravi said that while the BJP spoke to both leaders of the AIADMK, when push comes to shove, the party will “prioritise the institution over the individual.” The statement in light of the case being fought in the Supreme Court is significant.

“If we are asked to prioritise, we will choose the institution over the individual. We are cordial with everyone but in terms of political business we want to deal with the organisational institution,” he said.

For the BJP, which is an ally of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, it has been a difficult balancing act, but with Friday’s (February 3) meetings the party seems to have realised it needs to continue with the same strategy.

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