In Annamalai vs Tamilisai, an 18-second video clip is fresh ammo | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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In Annamalai vs Tamilisai, an 18-second video clip is fresh ammo

Jun 12, 2024 03:28 PM IST

Annamalai and Tamilisai Soundararajan have also had differences over the BJP’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha election on its own.

CHENNAI: A video clip of Union home minister Amit Shah’s quick conversation with Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tamilisai Soundararajan on the sidelines of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s swearing in ceremony on Wednesday again put the spotlight on infighting in the state unit.

Kalyan Raman contested the interpretation that Soundararajan, a former Telangana governor, was reprimanded by Amit Shah. (X/karthikgnath)
Kalyan Raman contested the interpretation that Soundararajan, a former Telangana governor, was reprimanded by Amit Shah. (X/karthikgnath)

In the 18-second clip, Soundararajan is seen greeting Amit Shah and former vice president M Venkaiah Naidu on the stage as she walks past them. A moment later, Shah calls her back and is seen speaking to her about something, wagging his finger.

BJP’s state social media cell vice president Karthik Gopinath, promptly put out a post on X with his interpretation of the conversation. “That looks like a strong admonishment from Amit Shah ji to Tamilisai akka . But what could be the reason for this “public” warning ? Unwarranted public comments ?” said Gopinath, who is known to be a supporter of Tamil Nadu BJP unit president K Annamalai.

The Annamalai camp’s swipe comes days after Tamilisai Soundararajn, who was the state BJP president during 2014-2019, took a dig at the state unit president Annamalai. “I had a yardstick when I was (chief) of the BJP where I didn’t encourage anti-social elements,” Soundararajan had said during the interview. “But, recently anti-social elements have been taken into the party. I have no doubt that he (Annamalai) is a good leader. All I’m saying is we all are different types of leaders and we take different decisions.”

To be sure, Annamalai and Tamilisai have also had differences over the BJP’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha election on its own. On June 6, AIADMK’s former minister SP Velumani blamed Annamalai for the BJP’s split with the AIADMK last September and claimed that the two could have won 30-35 seats if the alliance was intact.

In the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, neither the AIADMK nor the BJP won a single seat. The MK Stalin-led DMK won 22 of the state’s 39 Lok Sabha seats and the Congress another 9. Among the BJP leaders to lose were Annamalai and Soundararajan who contested from Coimbatore and Chennai South respectively.

Soundararajan had rushed to declare that Velumani’s assessment was realistic but Annamalai questioned its basis, since the AIADMK failed to win a single seat on its own, and pointed to a sharp rise in the party’s vote share.

BJP’s former intellectual wing functionary Kalyan Raman, who has been supportive of Soundararajan, contested the interpretation that Soundararajan, a former Telangana governor, was reprimanded by Amit Shah. “What is happening is gleeful misinterpretation / jumping the gun, once again being engineered by @annamalai_k, to keep himself afloat from facing voice of dissent emanating from people like me. Voice of dissent leads to course correction. Any effort to suppress the voice will lead to collapse of the party system, which is already damaged under the presidentship of Annamalai,” said in a post on X.

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