In a setback to the AIADMK, K. Manickam, one of its steering committee members and former MLA, joined the BJP, in the presence of the party’s Tamil Nadu president, K. Annamalai, here on Wednesday.
Mr. Manickam was among the few AIADMK MLAs who threw their weight behind former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam during his rebellion against V.K. Sasikala in February 2017. Last year, when the AIADMK constituted an 11-member steering committee as part of a deal between the factions led by Mr. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Mr. Manickam was accommodated in it. Belonging to the Devendrakula Velalar community, he was seen as a representative of the Scheduled Castes in the committee.
Mr. Manickam, along with another former AIADMK MLA C.T. Palanisamy, joined the BJP at the executive committee meeting held at a private hall on Palladam Road.