A month after AIADMK-BJP split, resentment persists

AIADMK and BJP Leaders Regret Breakup: Missed Political Opportunities and Hasty Decisions

Chennai: Will AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami and BJP State President K Annamalai be able to stick to their stand on the split between the two parties and thwart bids to reunite them or will the ‘senior leaders’ on both sides finally have their way for the revival of the alliance to fight the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as a single coalition?

This is the question that is on the top of the mind of leaders in both the AIADMK and BJP though it is exactly one month since the AADMK walked out of the NDA, expecting a few smaller parties in the State, including those now in the DMK alliance, to join it, even as those who resented the split then are still crying over spilled milk.

In the BJP side, senior leaders who hoped to contest from one of the half score of seats that the AIADMK might have given its ally see the break up as a lost opportunity since their political careers would have zoomed if they had managed to win their seats with the backing of the AIADMK.

Similarly, those leaders to the AIADMK who see a fortification for them and their party in an alliance with the BJP and also envisage a prospect of canvassing for a Prime Ministerial candidate (Narendra Modi) in the hustlings are said to be peeved over the decision to walk out and are seemingly telling Palaniswami that they had done it in haste.

That none of the leaders in both the BJP and AIADMK have commented critically on the split or have spited or blamed the other former ally since the split on September 25 itself is an indication that the idea of the break up has not actually sunk in among the second rung leaders.

However, Palaniswami and Annamalai are going about their work enthusiastically, hopeful of making a mark in the Lok Sabha polls without the support of the other. Both the leaders are regularly targeting the DMK, picking on various issues and slamming the ruling party in the State at every given opportunity.

While Annamalai is continuing with his ‘yatra,’ Palaniswami is out to win hearts in southern Tamil Nadu, where his bete noire O Panneerselvam, along with T T V Dinakaran and V K Sasikala, are expected to have enjoy a personal clout among the people.

His latest move is the call for a public meeting at Thanjavur to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the AIADMK on Saturday, November 4, evening. In his bid to keep Panneerselvam, Dinakaran and Sasikala out of the political reckoning, Palaniswami had succeeded within the AIADMK by making the functionaries and an overwhelming majority of leaders rally around him.

However, he had not tested the electoral waters and would like to leave no stone unturned in that front, too. It is to establish himself as the undisputed leader of the AIADMK even among the traditional supporters of the party in the southern districts, he is now reaching out to them through meetings like the one had planned in Thanjavur and also by attending the Guru Puja of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar on Monday, October 30.

Also Palaniswami wants to shed the anti-Muslim image that he had gained over time through his association with the BJP for a prolonged time by roping in some Muslim dominated parties into the grand alliance that he has in mind with a view to garnering the anti-incumbency votes in both the State and national levels.

Though a few leaders of some Muslim parties, including the State president of the AIMIM T.S. Vakeel and founder of Manithneya Jananayaga Katchi M Thamumin Ansari, had called on Palaniswami, there had been no developments on that front.

So, it is learnt that Palaniswai is telling his lieutenants that their party meeting should visibly have an Islamic crowd to change the party’s anti-Muslim image.

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