AIADMK to hold key meeting today amid rift in ties with BJP
Led by general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, the party will decide on its future course of action.
Amid strains in ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will hold a meeting led by general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami in Chennai on Monday to decide on its future course of action.
AIADMK’s alliance with the BJP is broken, the state’s main opposition party reiterated on Sunday. The stance came two days after five AIADMK leaders met BJP national president JP Nadda in New Delhi on Friday to discuss the stand-off over state BJP president K Annamalai’s statement against AIADMK leaders.
On September 18, AIADMK’s organising secretary D Jayakumar had announced that the party was calling off its alliance with the BJP. The reason for the breakup was attributed to Annamalai making disparaging comments about Dravidian reformist stalwart CN Annadurai, after whom the AIADMK is named.
Leaders who met with Nadda said they wanted Annamalai to be reined in, according to an AIADMK leader present in the meeting on conditions of anonymity.
“There is no change in our stand that we do not have an alliance with the BJP,” Jayakumar said on Sunday. “It would not be right to elaborate since we have a meeting tomorrow.”
A meeting will be held with all MPs, MLAs and district secretaries on Monday, the AIADMK said in a circular.
Responding to a query on whether its action would attract the ire of federal agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Jayakumar said, “AIADMK will not be threatened.”
Palaniswami has not yet spoken on the alliance and neither has the party issued any statement. “There will be more clarity after we discuss this tomorrow,” said a second AIADMK leader, not wishing to be named. “Party cadre are not happy that our leaders are being insulted.”
While BJP leaders said this was a pressure tactic by the AIADMK as the former has sought more seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Annamalai said that only certain people have issues with him and there was no issue between the allies.
Congress MP S Thirunavukarasu said the strain in ties between the AIADMK and BJP will help the INDIA bloc. “This split is good for us,” said Thirunavukarasu. “The question is if it was the central leadership of the BJP that has conveyed to Annamalai to criticise their own ally. This could be a pressure tactic to create problems and use another group of people to solve the created problem. Such things are common before elections.”