AIADMK Quits the Alliance with BJP in Tamil Nadu: A Political Shift
In a significant development in Tamil Nadu’s political landscape, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has formally ended its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In other words, the AIADMK announced walking out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This decision was prompted by derogatory comments made by K. Annamalai, the President of the Tamil Nadu BJP, about AIADMK leaders, past and present. Although the next Tamil Nadu Assembly election is scheduled for 2026, the timing of this alliance dissolution suggests its potential significance as India prepares for crucial state Assembly elections later this year.
The AIADMK’s decision to end its alliance with the BJP was taken by a high-level committee of the party, consisting of district secretaries, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), and Members of Parliament (MPs). Although K. Annamalai was not mentioned by name in the resolution, the issue was generalized as “comments made by BJP’s Tamil Nadu leadership.” AIADMK leaders accused the BJP’s state leadership of systematically and purposely defaming the AIADMK, its revered leaders such as C.N. Annadurai and Jayalalithaa, and their policies and programs. They also alleged that the BJP had belittled a massive AIADMK rally held in Madurai on August 20 and made derogatory remarks about former Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami.
AIADMK’s Firm Stand
AIADMK leader K.P. Munusamy emphasized that the decision to end the alliance with the BJP was not taken lightly, asserting that it was a permanent separation. The AIADMK cadre at the party’s headquarters celebrated the decision, welcoming the expulsion of the BJP from the alliance. Second-tier AIADMK leaders also expressed their strong opposition to the BJP’s actions in Tamil Nadu. While they criticized the state leadership of the BJP, they refrained from making any negative comments about the central BJP leadership.
Annamalai’s Response to AIADMK quitting NDA
K Annamalai is currently on his “En Mann En Makkal” (My land My People) padayatra. He met the reporters in Coimbatore and informed them that the party’s national leadership would give a timely response to AIADMK.
The conflict between the AIADMK and the BJP escalated after derogatory remarks by K. Annamalai against former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Jayalalithaa and C. N Annadurai. Senior AIADMK leaders D. Jayakumar and C.V. Shanmugam demanded an apology from Annamalai and strongly criticized the state BJP leadership. This led to a barrage of verbal attacks against Annamalai and the BJP, prompting the AIADMK leadership to issue a release instructing second-tier leaders not to comment on the alliance issue.
Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the General Secretary of the AIADMK, attempted to seek resolution by meeting Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President J.P. Nadda. Following the meetings, Palaniswami usually addresses the press, but on this occasion, he did not. Instead, he sent a team of close advisors, including former Ministers Thangamani and Velumani, to meet with Shah. However, Shah declined to meet them, and they had to settle for a meeting with Nadda.
Responding to the AIADMK’s decision, BJP leader V.P. Duraisamy emphasized that the AIADMK leaders were focusing on individual issues rather than ideological differences. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President K.S. Alagiri expressed skepticism about how long the AIADMK could remain separated from the BJP, suggesting that there were no fundamental ideological differences between the two parties. Many political leaders, speaking anonymously, questioned whether the AIADMK’s decision could change if Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Amit Shah engaged with the AIADMK leadership and assured them of a resolution.
As things stand, the AIADMK’s decision has the potential to reshape Tamil Nadu’s political landscape in anticipation of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.