AIADMK ends 5 yr honeymoon with BJP, snaps ties, breaks away from NDA

Chennai, Sep 25 (UNI) The widening cracks in the alliance in recent times that left it in tatters on Monday reached a point of no return, with the main Opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu ending its five-year honeymoon with the BJP by severing its ties with it and walking out of the NDA.

An unanimous resolution was adopted at an emergency meeting of the senior party functionaries, headquarters secretaries, MPs and MLAs, chaired by AIADMK General Secretary and Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Edappadi K.Palaniswami, while strongly taking exception to critical remarks made by BJP State Unit President K.Annamalai.

Reading out the one page resolution to the media after the meeting, senior leader and AIADMK Deputy General Secretary K.P.Munusamy said the State leadership of the BJP had been, for the last one year, “deliberately, in a planned manner and with motive, defaming” icons of the party such as stalwarts C.N.Annadurai and Ms Jayalalithaa and “criticising” the policies of the party.

It also said moreover, the BJP State Leadership had spoken in a manner belittling the grand conference organised by the AIADMK on August 20 in Madurai and also made remarks critical of Mr Palaniswami who is the guiding force of the two crore AIADMK cadres, causing deep anguish among the AIADMK functionaries and cadres.

The resolution, adopted after about an hour long meeting, however, did not take any names of the BJP though it was quite obvious that alluded to state BJP Chief, K. Annamalai.

Mr.Munusamy also announced that his party would form a coalition and face 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“In deference to the wishes of the two crore party cadres, it has been unanimously resolved at the meeting chaired by Mr Palaniswami and attended by AIADMK headquarters secretaries, district secretaries, senior functionaries, MPs and MLAs, that the AIADMK has decided to sever ties with the BJP and quit the NDA alliance with effect from today (September 25, 2023)”, the resolution said.

Soon after the resolution was adopted, scores of AIADMK cadres, who had thronged the party office, celebrated it by bursting crackers distributing sweets, and dancing to the tune of beating drums.

AIADMK sources said Mr Palaniswami thrice reiterated in the meeting that there is no alliance with the BJP and NDA and AIADMK has decided quit the NDA alliance.

He had also told the AIADMK functionaries that the party would never ally with the BJP in future. There will be no alliance with the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and also for the 2026 Assembly polls and that he was prepared to face any challenge (posed by the BJP).

Meanwhile, talking to reporters after the meeting, former Minister and one of the senior leaders Vaigaiselvan said the decision to quit the NDA was unanimous and it reflected the views and sentiments of the two crore party cadres.

The development followed the declaration by the party’s organisation secretary, D.Jayakumar on September 18 that the BJP was no longer its ally, a stand which he had reiterated on the meeting’s eve yesterday saying there was no change in the stand.

Reacting to AIADMK’s decision, Mr Annamalai said the BJP National leadership headed by Mr J.P.Nadda will respond to this at an appropriate time, a point which was echoed by BJP National Secretary Keshav, who hours after the AIADMK’s pull out, restrained the State leadership from making any comments on the issue.

“Being a National Party, the BJP Leadership will talk about this (AIADMK’s decision to quit the NDA)”, he reiterated, while thanking the media for the support.

It may be recalled that the AIADMK had revived in ties with the BJP in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

It was revived after a gap of two decades after former AIADMK Supremo and Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa, after forging an alliance with the BJP in the 1998 elections, toppled the 13-month-old BJP government at the Centre headed by then Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee.

While asserting that she was not ashamed of admitting the fault committed by her in aligning with the BJP and toppling the government, she had also then vowed that the AIADMK would never ally with the BJP in future, which she had maintained till her last breadth.

However, after her death in December 2016, the AIADMK faced a vertical split in 2017, came together later under the twin leadership of Palaniswami and ousted leader O.Panneerselvam ane revived the alliance with the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and since then the front had lost four successive polls, including the Assembly bypoll to the Erode Assembly seat.

The front suffered a debacle in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the 2021 Assembly polls and the elections to the rural and Urban Local bodies.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls the front headed by the AIADMK suffered its worst defeat to the DMK-led Front that comprised, Congress, MDMK, VCK, CPI and CPI(M) and other parties–losing 39 of the 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Only AIADMK candidate and Mr Panneerselvam’s son P.Ravindranath managed to win from his native Theni Parliamentary constituency.

The alliance continued in 2021 Assembly polls, in which the AIADMK-Front managed to win a mere 75 seats, including four by the BJP, the highest representation in the State Assembly thus far, and was dethroned by the DMK.

The DMK headed by Mr Stalin swept the polls with a resounding victory and returned to power after a gap of ten years and he became the Chief Minister for the first time.

The AIADMK-led Front’s poor run in electoral politics continued as it also performed badly in the local bodies polls.

Despite these setbacks, both the AIADMK and the BJP had been maintaining that the alliance was intact and would continue in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, which was also confirmed by National BJP Leaders including Mr Amit Shah.

However, the latest war of words between the two following some remarks made by Mr Annamalai about Mr Annadurai and AIADMK leaders and its leadership, created friction in the alliance and the cracks widened further and reached a point of no return, prompting the AIADMK to adopt a key resolution severing its ties with the saffron party and quit the NDA.

It was also informed at the meeting that the AIADMK would never have any truck with the BJP in future in any of the elections.

Soon after the AIADMK quit the NDA, the hashtag on the issue started trending on the social media with the AIADMK stating “Thank you BJP…Don’t come again”.

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